How do you move 22 mummies (kings and queens) from one museum to another? With a big event, they find in Egypt. In an extraordinary procession, the dead pharaohs (some have been dead for over 3,500 years) march through the streets of the Egyptian capital Cairo.
The mummies, including those of Ramesses II and Hatshepsut, must move to a new museum. A ride of about 5 kilometers. The whole event is broadcast live on TV.
An entire event has been set up for the ‘golden parade of the pharaohs’. Dozens of journalists are present. Security guards, agents and curious public are located along the entire route. There is even a fireworks show afterwards. The tranquility of the mummies is thus disturbed by the festive journey, for which countless floats are used.
The mummies have been in the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo for over a century, but are now relocated to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC).
Curse of the Mummy
In chronological order, Pharaoh Seqenenre Taa (16th century BC), nicknamed ‘the brave’, opened the procession, which was closed by Ramesses IX (12th century BC). Among the most famous mummies are those of Hatshepsut and Ramses II. Hatshepsut’s reign for about twenty years (1479-1458 BC) was characterized by a growth in trade. Ramesses II, a great warrior king and one of the most powerful pharaohs, reigned for 67 years (1301-1236 BC).
Social media has criticized the transport of the deceased rulers. Some Egyptians fear “the curse of the mummy” because they are disturbed from their rest. The country has already had a turbulent week. The important Suez Canal got blocked by a container ship, which led to logistical problems worldwide. There was also a fatal train accident with 18 deaths in the south of Egypt. Finally, a building collapsed in Cairo: 25 people did not survive that.
The ‘Pharaoh’s curse’ was also raised in the 1920s after the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, followed by the deaths of members of the team of archaeologists believed to be mysterious.
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization is located in the south of Cairo. It will open on April 4, but the mummies won’t be on display until April 18. They will be able to be kept and exhibited there in better conditions than in their current residence, where they were set up in a small room.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay called the relocation of the mummies in Cairo “the culmination of a long process to better preserve and display them.” UNESCO contributed to this.