A procession of floats carrying the mummified remains of 22 pharaohs, including Egypt’s most powerful ancient queen, snaked through Cairo Saturday evening, in an eye-catching parade to a new resting place.
Under heavy security, the mummies were travelling seven kilometers (four miles) across the capital from the iconic Egyptian Museum to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation.
Dubbed the “Pharaohs’ Golden Parade”, the 18 kings and four queens travelled in order, oldest first, each aboard a separate float decorated in ancient Egyptian style.
Both pedestrians and vehicles were barred from Tahrir Square, the site of the current museum, and other sections of the route for the parade.
Images of the parade and a carefully choreographed opening ceremony were broadcast live on state television, to rousing music.
“With great pride, I look forward to welcoming kings and queens from Egypt after their trip,” President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Twitter just ahead of proceedings.
“This grandiose spectacle is further proof of the greatness… of a unique civilization that extends into the depths of history,” he added.
Seqenenre Tao II, “the Brave”, who reigned over southern Egypt some 1,600 years before Christ, was on the first chariot, while Ramses IX, who reigned in the 12th century BC, brought up the rear.
Another great warrior, Ramses II, who ruled for 67 years, and Queen Hatshepsut, the most powerful female pharaoh, were also on the journey.
The gold-coloured carriages were fitted with shock absorbers for the 40-minute trip, to ensure none of the precious cargos are accidentally disturbed on Cairo’s roads.