Egyptian mummies pass through Cairo in parade of ancient rulers

A convoy of vehicles transporting royal mummies is seen in Cairo on Saturday

A convoy of vehicles transporting royal mummies is seen in Cairo on Saturday

The mummies were being transported in climate-controlled cases loaded onto trucks decorated with wings and pharaonic design for the hour-long journey from their previous home in the older, Egyptian Museum.

Numerous mummies on display had made an arduous journey to Saturday's parade after being exhumed from the Deir El-Bahari cachette in Luxor's West Bank in 1881.

Performers dressed in ancient Egyptian costume march at the start of the parade of 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies departing from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

"We chose the Civilization Museum because we want, for the first time, to display the mummies in a civilized manner, an educated manner, and not for amusement as they were in the Egyptian Museum", Hawass said.

Egypt continues to unearth ancient remains, this photograph from October 2020 shows the opening of a sarcophagus excavated by the Egyptian archaeological mission at the Saqqara necropolis near Cairo.

The list of the kings and queens includes royals from 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties, such as Ramesses II (also known as Ozymandias, or Ramesses the Great, one of the most glorious pharaohs in history), Queen Hatshepsut and Queen Ahmose-Nefertari.

Discovered near Luxor from 1881 onwards, most of the 22 mummies have lain since the early 1900s in the Egyptian Museum, on the capital's iconic Tahrir Square.

Discovered in 1922, the tomb of the young ruler, who took the throne briefly in the 14th century BC, contained treasures including gold and ivory.

Egypt: 22 mummies move to new museum in grand parade

In their new home, they will be showcased individually, each next to a sarcophagus, and in some cases, a statue, in an environment redolent of underground royal tombs.

The multi-million dollar spectacle has been created to get people excited about Egypt's rich antiquities collections after the coronavirus pandemic put an abrupt halt on the tourist industry. The government is hoping that the grand parade of mummies will help to attract tourists and revive the industry.

"The whole world will be watching", said Egyptian archaeologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass, who will commentate as the event unfolds live on state television.

Security is tight in the capital, with authorities closing off major streets and intersections all along the route for the slow-moving vehicles. Guards on horses and Egyptian celebrities and signers followed the motorcade.

People in ancient Egyptian outfits perform during the Pharaohs' Golden Parade in Cairo, Egypt, on April 3, 2021.

The new museum opened its doors to limited exhibits from 2017 and will open fully on Sunday, before the mummies go on display to the general public from April 18.

President Sisi will inaugurate the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, where he will receive the royal convoy to their final resting place.

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