It’s a ticker-tape parade 3,000 years in the making.
On Saturday, a procession of mummies will be paraded through the streets of Cairo as part of a celebration of Egypt’s significance during the dawn of civilization — which historians are now seeking to preserve in a new high-tech storage facility, according to Egyptian reports.
The sarcophagi of Ramses the Great, Seqnen Ra and 16 other pharaohs, along with four queens, will exit the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square as part of an event dubbed “The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade,” organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Marked by a spectacle of fireworks, artillery salutes and with hand-drawn chariots and choirs in tow, the exhibition of ancient monarchs will travel three miles along the River Nile in highly secure and sterile units before reaching its final destination at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Al-Fustat, of Old Cairo.
Ahmed Ghoneim, executive director of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC), told CNN Travel that the fanfare isn’t so much about the royal rulers themselves. “The whole idea is not the mummies, the whole idea is how you display the mummies . . . It’s how you tell the story, it’s the environment, it’s the ambiance that you feel when you’re getting in,” he said.
Once they reach the NMEC’s newly minted Hall of Royal Mummies, each mummy will be placed in padded, oxygen-free nitrogen chambers “which can keep it preserved without being damaged from the effects of humidity, especially . . . bacteria, fungi and insects,” Ghoneim added.
The festival is to be aired live on Saturday via the Ministry’s two YouTube channels, as well as 400 local TV stations. The museum opens to the public on Sunday, April 4.
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