At 8 p.m., the mummies — 18 kings and 4 queens — left the famed ochre-hued Egyptian Museum close to Tahrir Sq., the place that they had rested for many years. They had been every atop specifically adorned gold-and-blue-hued automobiles resembling boats. Or maybe the image of a winged solar, an decoration worn by Egypt’s historic rulers and seen as offering safety. Every of the 22 automobiles was emblazoned with the title of the royal mummy it carried.
The multimillion-dollar affair — known as the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade — had been promoted for months. Egyptian authorities are looking for to draw vacationers, a key supply of overseas foreign money, and alter the course of an economic system battered by the coronavirus pandemic, Islamist assaults and political chaos in previous years.
The extremely choreographed ceremony was additionally a nationalist automobile to focus on Egypt’s place in historical past. The nation’s authoritarian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, who himself is also known as “a brand new pharaoh” for his formidable initiatives and iron-fisted rule, presided over the ceremony.
In a Fb put up, Intisar al-Sissi, Egypt’s first woman, mentioned Saturday’s occasion “expresses the greatness of the traditional civilization that supplied humanity, and nonetheless does, with a singular and various legacy, contributing to its progress and prosperity.”
Most Egyptians noticed the parade on tv, as your entire route and surrounding bridges and roads had been closed for safety. With elements of this system prerecorded, viewers had been handled to an orchestra and singer enjoying patriotic music and movies extolling lots of the nation’s well-known temples, church buildings and mosques.
Sissi, together with senior officers and aides, watched the parade on a large display inside a corridor of the Nationwide Museum of Egyptian Civilization, the place the mummies can be displayed.
The ceremony sought to re-create the royals’ historic existence. Within the procession had been horse-drawn chariots and a whole bunch of performers garbed within the conventional apparel worn by historic Egyptians.
The automobiles circled round Tahrir Sq., the epicenter of Egypt’s revolution, which is now centered with an historic obelisk and 4 statues of ram-headed sphinxes. Flood lights bore into the evening sky as yellow and blue lights lit up the world.
The mummies, carried in bins crammed with nitrogen, and their automobiles had been fitted with particular shock absorbers to guard their millennia-old stays. Nothing was taken to likelihood: Even their route was freshly paved.
The mummies within the procession had been lined up in chronological order. The oldest rulers got here first, beginning with Seqenenre Taa, the final king of the seventeenth Dynasty, who reigned within the sixteenth century B.C. The final was the twelfth century B.C. pharaoh Ramses IX.
In between had been two of essentially the most well-known of historic Egypt’s rulers: Ramses II, extensively seen as the best pharaoh of the New Kingdom interval, and Queen Hatshepsut, who dominated at a time when feminine pharaohs had been very uncommon. The temples of each rulers, in Luxor and Abu Simbel, are among the many most visited.
At 8:30 p.m., after following a big motorbike escort via the empty Cairo streets, the 22 automobiles stopped in entrance the Nationwide Museum of Egyptian Civilization within the capital’s Fustat enclave. Then, a 21-gun salute adopted. Minutes later, the parade entered the compound and Sissi walked out to greet the brand new arrivals.
They are going to be housed within the museum’s royal corridor of mummies and can go on show by mid-month, officers mentioned.