Majestic Cairo parade as Egyptian mummies move museum By Reuters

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5/5 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Obelisk of Ramses II is seen after the renovation of Tahrir Square to transfer 22 mummies from the Egyptian Museum, in Tahrir, to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, in Fustat, in Cairo 2/5

By Nadeen Ebrahim CAIRO (Reuters) – A grand parade on Saturday will transport 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies in specially designed capsules across the capital Cairo to a new house museum where they can be displayed in greater splendor. The convoy will transport 18 kings and four queens, mainly from the New Kingdom, from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat, about 5 km (3 miles) to the southeast. Authorities are closing roads along the Nile for the elaborate ceremony, designed to spark interest in Egypt’s rich collections of antiquities when tourism has almost completely stalled due to restrictions related to COVID-19. Each mummy will be placed in a special nitrogen-filled capsule to ensure protection, and the capsules will be transported in carts designed to cradle them and provide stability, said Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass. “We chose the Museum of Civilization because we want, for the first time, to display the mummies in a civilized, polite way and not for fun like in the Egyptian Museum,” he said. Archaeologists discovered the mummies in two lots at the Deir Al Bahari mortuary temple complex in Luxor and in the nearby Valley of the Kings since 1871. The oldest is that of Seqenenre Tao, the last king of the 17th dynasty, who reigned in the 16th century BC and is believed to have suffered a violent death. The parade will also include the mummies of Ramses II, Seti I, and Ahmose-Nefertari. Fustat was the site of the capital of Egypt under the Umayyad dynasty after the Arab conquest. “By doing so, with great pomp and circumstance, the mummies are getting their fair share,” said Salima Ikram, an Egyptologist at the American University of Cairo. “These are the kings of Egypt, these are the pharaohs. So it‘s a way of showing respect.”

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