Egyptian mummies paraded through Cairo on way to new museum
Nearly two dozen ancient Egyptian royal mummies were paraded through Cairo on Saturday evening in a dazzling display to mark their transferral to a new museum.
Major roads along the Nile were shut down as the 22 royal mummies were carried across Egypt’s capital from the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egypt Civilisation in Fustat, a roughly 7km journey.
In video captured by Reuters, drummers could be seen lining the streets, hailing the passage of the 18 kings and four queens, most from the New Kingdom.
The royal mummies were transported in special capsules filled with nitrogen to ensure their protection.
As they arrived at their new home, cannons were fired in a 21-gun salute.
Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, was present at the event and could be seen standing by as the mummies were driven up to the museum on vehicles decorated with golden pharaonic motifs.
The heads of the United Nations cultural agency Unesco and the World Tourism Organisation were also present at the ceremony.
The grand parade was largely held in a bid to attract worldwide attention to Egypt’s rich ancient artifacts, with the country being among many to suffer a major blow to its tourism industry due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass said the ancient royal mummies would be displayed in a “civilised manner” rather than for “amusement” in their new home.
“We chose the Civilisation Museum because we want, for the first time, to display the mummies in a civilised manner, an educated manner, and not for amusement as they were in the Egyptian Museum,” Mr Hawass said.