Egypt has relocated its ancient Kings and Queens, including famous Ramses II and Hatshepsut, one of the few known female pharaohs, to a new resting place in a grand ceremony designed to showcase heritage and boost tourism.
The convoy of golden trucks that moved through the streets of Cairo on Saturday was designed to resemble ancient boats that used to carry deceased pharaohs to their tombs.
The mummies were transported inside climate-controlled capsules filled with nitrogen from the Egyptian Museum to the newly-inaugurated National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in a spectacular ceremony.
While the mummies were making their hour-long journey to their new resting place in Fustat, the site of Egypt’s first Islamic capital, the historic event was widely broadcast on TV and online.
The glamorous show featured various artistic performances and famous landmarks, in an apparent bid to boost tourism that has stalled amid Covid-19 pandemic.
As the procession circled Cairo’s central Tahrir square, authorities officially unveiled a new decoration in the center of the iconic landmark – an obelisk guarded by four sphinxes.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as well as the heads of the UN cultural agency UNESCO and the World Tourism Organization, welcomed the mummies at their new home, where Egyptologists say they will from now on be displayed in a more “civilized” and “educated” manner.
In recent weeks Egypt has suffered a series of unfortunate incidents – including a Suez Canal blockade by a container ship, a fatal train crash, a garment factory blaze, and a deadly apartment building collapse – reanimating a century-old legend of the so-called ‘Pharaoh curse’. However, with eighteen ancient Kings and four Queens now finally settled at their new home, the bizarre rumor can hopefully be put to rest too.
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