The mummies of 22 kings and queens of ancient Egypt are the protagonists of a parade this Saturday (3), as they are taken from the Cairo Museum to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, south of the capital, which will open this Sunday (4).
The procession was organized in chronological order, with each mummy on board vehicles with decorations typical of the era of the pharaohs, identified with the name of the ruler. The journey of about seven kilometers will be covered in 40 minutes, with enhanced security.
The procession will be led by the pharaoh Sekenenré Taá (16th century BC), and will be closed by Ramses 9th (12th century BC). Better known to the general public, Ramsés 2º will also be part of the parade. The event will also include a live broadcast on Egyptian TV.
Most of the 22 mummies, discovered near Luxor, in southern Egypt, since 1881, have not left the museum in central Cairo, located in Tahrir Square, since the beginning of the 20th century. Since then, they have been exhibited in a room without much resources.
To be transported, the mummies were placed in a kind of capsule containing nitrogen, under conditions similar to the urns in which they are in the museum. The vehicles that will transport them also have a mechanism to avoid shocks.
They will be exhibited in the new museum from April 18 in more modern urns, “with better temperature and humidity control than the old museum”, explains Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at the university. American from Cairo and specialist in mummification.
The mummies will be presented individually, alongside their sarcophagi, in an environment reminiscent of the underground tombs of kings, and each will have a biography. In some cases, CT scans will also be displayed.
After years of political instability following the popular uprising of 2011, which severely affected tourism in the country, Egypt is looking for a way to win back foreigners.
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the Grand Egyptian Museum, open in the coming months, are part of this strategy.