21 Jun 2021 00:00:00 AM Breaking News
UAE: Public holidays announced for National Day, Commemoration DayCoronavirus: UAE reports 1,491 Covid-19 cases, 1,826 recoveries, no deathsUAE health alert: Can you cope with masks for long hours? Should mask breaks be introduced?Breaking: UAE lifts all movement restrictionsLife after COVID-19: Retail Industry witnesses shift towards e-commerce globallyCOVID-19 impact: Yes, it’s time for Dubai business to restartCOVID-19 response: DIFC to gradually reopen businesses from WednesdayCOVID-19 response: DIFC to gradually reopen businesses from WednesdayDubai 22K gold price touches Dh200 a gram for first time in nine yearsCoronavirus: UAE announces 624 new cases, 11 deathsCOVID-19: UAE announces 462 new casesCoronavirus: UAE announces 549 new cases, 9 deathsSmall group of employees behind fraud at NMC Health, says B.R. ShettyCOVID 19: UAE announces 4 deaths, 518 new coronavirus cases and 91 recoveriesUAE announces 490 new coronavirus cases, three deathsCoronavirus: UAE announces 432 new Covid-19 cases on WednesdayCovid-19: UAE announces 300 new cases of coronavirusCOVID-19: Disinfection drive extended to 24 hours in DubaiUAE announces recovery of two new coronavirus patientsPanasonic CEO vows to ‘eradicate’ money-losing businessesEmirates to carry over 6,500 passengers to Dubai for Amway’s largest leadership gatheringTrading of Emirates NBD Bank’s rights issue to take place this NovemberSelling pressure on Emaar drags DFM 1.3% lowerEmirates NBD hires Standard Chartered's Patrick Sullivan as CFOWorld Bank chief asks India to reform financial sectorEarly settlement charges on home loans in UAE reducedBreast Cancer Awareness: How to do a self-exam and why it is a mustDFM surges 4.8 percentageas Emirates NBD hikes foreign stakes limitMcDonald’s enlists Alexa and Google to help with its hiring84-year-old Indian man goes skydiving in DubaiUAE in Space: Have questions for Hazza on the ISS?Indian minister seeks direct flight between Bhubaneswar and DubaiExpo 2020 dome now complete, marking new milestone for UAEEmirati astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri undergoes final test as lift-off nearsSoftBank triples net profit in Q1Microsoft 'listens' to conversations, but only with permissionChina warns India of ‘reverse sanctions’ if Huawei is blockedStocks, oil edge higher as trade-war panic easesTens of thousands losing jobs as India's auto crisis deepensSerena again tops Forbes list of highest-paid sports womenDubai equity traders get a reason to cash out ahead of holidaysRight time to invest? UAE equities attractive on low valuations, positive indicatorsIndian rupee hits 19.21 vs UAE dirhamHumid and dusty weather in UAE until Eid weekendHeathrow airport strike: Emirates issues travel advisoryEid Al Adha 2019: Four-day holiday in UAEEid Al Adha to be celebrated on August 11 in UAENissan, Renault eye restructuring for Fiat merger: report Nissan controls 15 per cent and has no voting rights in Renault

Egypt mummies to pass through Cairo in ancient rulers' parade

Crowds of curious Egyptians are expected to line the streets to witness an historic procession of their country's ancient rulers through the capital, Cairo.

The lavish, multi-million dollar spectacle will see 22 mummies - 18 kings and four queens - transported from the peach-coloured, neo-classical Egyptian Museum to their new resting place 5km (three miles) away.

With tight security arrangements befitting their royal blood and status as national treasures, the mummies will be relocated to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in what is called The Pharaohs' Golden Parade.

They will be transported with great fanfare in chronological order of their reigns - from the 17th Dynasty ruler, Seqenenre Taa II, to Ramses IX, who reigned in the 12th Century BC.

One of the main attractions is King Ramses II, the most famous pharaoh of the New Kingdom, who ruled for 67 years and is remembered for signing the first known peace treaty.

Another is Queen Hatshepsut, or Foremost of Noble Ladies. She became ruler even though the customs of her time were that women did not become pharaohs.

Each mummy will be carried on a decorated vehicle fitted with special shock-absorbers and surrounded by a motorcade, including replica horse-drawn war chariots.

While ancient mummification techniques originally preserved the pharaohs, for the move they have been placed in special nitrogen-filled boxes to help protect them against external conditions. Roads along the route have also been repaved to keep the journey smooth.

"The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has done its best to make sure that the mummies have been stabilised, conserved, and are packed in a climate-controlled environment," said Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.

The mummies were discovered in 1881 and 1898 in two caches in the ruins of Thebes, Egypt's ancient capital - modern day Luxor in Upper Egypt.

"They have already seen a lot of movement in Cairo and before than in Thebes, where they were moved from their own tombs to other sepulchres for safety," Dr Ikram pointed out.

While most of the ancient rulers' remains were brought from Luxor to Cairo via boat on the Nile, a few were transported in the first-class carriage of a train.

They were housed in the iconic Egyptian Museum and visited by tourists from around the world for the past century.


Valley of the Kings

Egypt's authorities are hoping that the new museum, which opens fully this month, will help revitalise tourism - a prime source of foreign currency for the country.

The industry has been battered by political turbulence over the past decade, and more recently by the pandemic.

Saturday's move of the mummies will be streamed online for all enthusiasts of ancient Egypt to watch.

The new exhibits will now be housed in the Royal Hall of Mummies and will go on display to the general public from 18 April.

The hall has been designed so that visitors will experience the illusion of being in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Separately, a new Grand Egyptian Museum which will house the famous Tutankhamun collection is due to open next year, close to the Great Pyramids at Giza.

'Curse of the pharaohs'

While it is being seen as a grand - and even fun - event, Egypt's mummies have historically been associated with superstition and foreboding.

"Death will come on quick wings for those who disturb the king's peace," read the warning on King Tut's tomb, discovered by Englishman Howard Carter in 1922.

Recently, Egypt has had a string of disasters. Last week alone dozens of people were killed in a train crash in Sohag, Upper Egypt, while at least 18 people died when a building collapsed in Cairo.

Then, as preparations were in full swing to transfer the mummies, the Suez Canal was blocked by the MS Ever Given cargo ship for almost a week.

Social media users have questioned whether "the curse of the pharaohs" might be to blame.

The ethics of displaying ancient Egyptian mummies has long been debated. Many Muslim scholars believe that the dead should be treated with dignity and respect and not be exhibited as curiosities.

In 1980, President Anwar Sadat ordered the Royal Mummy Room at the Egyptian Museum closed, arguing that it desecrated the dead. He wanted the mummies to be reburied instead, though he did not get his wish.