Egyptians were in for a treat of historical and cultural spectacle this weekend. A total of 22 royal Egyptian mummies – 18 kings and 4 queens – were transported from the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat. The procession covered around 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), which involved lights and ceremonies in honor of the country’s ancient pharaohs.
Bt these royal mummies weren’t transported by normal hearses; specially-made trucks were used, obviously decorated in a callback to ancient Egyptian civilization. Hidden underneath are special shock-absorbers to make sure that the preserved remnants were transported as smoothly as possible.
Inside the trucks, the preserved pharaohs were transported in special nitrogen-filled boxes to help shield them from external natural elements. The roads along the long route were also cleared, while the convoy was surrounded by a motorcade and led by replica horse-drawn war chariots.
The heads of the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO and the World Tourism Organization were present at the ceremony, as well as other important government figures such as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. At the new museum, a 21-gun salute was fired by canons to honor the arrival of the royal mummies.
One of the most popular pharaohs transported during the ceremony was King Ramses II who ruled Egypt for 67 years and signed the first peace treaty. The oldest of the preserved remnants was Seqenenre Tao, the last king of the 17th Dynasty, who reigned in the 16th century BC.
Though the goal of the ceremony is to transfer the pharaohs to a more civilized museum, Egyptian authorities are reportedly hoping that this spectacle will revitalize tourism for the nation – hampered in the past years by political turmoil and the pandemic.