WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Twenty royal mummies were paraded through the streets of downtown Cairo to showcase the country’s heritage and boost its tourism.
- The royal mummies were transported from the Egyptian Museum to their new resting place in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC).
- The mummies included the remains of 18 pharaohs and four other royals.
Twenty royal mummies were paraded on the streets of Cairo in an event aimed at showcasing Egypt’s rich heritage.
The country recently held a gala parade to celebrate the transport of its prized royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum to their new resting place in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, Egypt’s former capital city.
The ancient monarchs laid in climate-controlled cases and were loaded onto trucks for the hour-long parade. The vehicles were decorated with pharaonic designs resembling the ancient boats that were used to transport deceased pharaohs to their tombs.
According to the Ministry of Antiquities, most of the ancient monarchs were from the New Kingdom that ruled the country between 1539 B.C. to 1075 B.C, including the famous pharaoh Ramses II, and Egypt’s only Pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut, who overcame the tradition that prohibited women from playing major roles in the royal hierarchy.
The 18 pharaohs and four other royals were originally buried in secret tombs near the southern city of Luxor and were excavated in the 19th century.
The excavated mummies were transported by boat to Cairo through the Nile and were either showcased in glass cases, or stored. In 1976, Ramses II’s remains were transported to Paris for intensive restoration.
The parade, which was aired live on the country’s state-run television and other satellite stations, and live-streamed on social media platforms, was part of Egypt’s efforts to boost the country’s tourism, which has been suffering since the 2011 popular uprising that unseated the country’s longtime autocratic president Hosni Mubarak, and more recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anany said the parade is a one-time global event. The authorities closed off major streets and intersections along the parade route, and security was tightened in Cairo. The motorcade was followed by guards on horses, Egyptian celebrities, and singers.
The “Pharaohs’ Golden Parade”, which started at sunset, circled Cairo’s famous Tahrir Square, where authorities uncovered an obelisk and four sphinxes.
In a tweet, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi welcomed the mummies at the newly-opened museum: “This majestic scene is a new evidence of the greatness of this people, the guarding of this unique civilization that extends into the depths of history.”
The Ministry of Antiquities revealed that 20 of the mummies will be displayed at the new museum, while two will be stored.
Source: USA Today