“These are the mummies of kings and queens who ruled during Egypt’s golden age."

Egypt’s former minister of antiquities Zahi Hawass on the unprecedented simultaneous movement of 22 mummies to a new museum in Cairo.

  • The “moving day” for the former kings (18) and queens (4) was captured in a two-hour live television event (produced by the government) celebrating Egypt’s civilization.
  • Trucks outfitted to look like boats (which once carried Pharaohs to their tombs) transported the mummies in specially-created cases – Egypt even resurfaced roads to make sure the trip would be smooth.
  • The mummies included some of the most well-known Pharaohs including Ramses II and Queen Hatshepsut (the first of only a few female Pharaohs).
  • The New York Times: The lavish government-sponsored event contrasted with some of the economic realities and divisions in Egypt’s capital city.
  • Some suggest the event, called The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade, was to encourage tourism as the pandemic has severely impacted one of Egypt’s main industries.
  • Why It Matters: The invaluable mummies will now be preserved and/or displayed at the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The lavish event speaks to the importance of this moment for the Egyptian government trying to recover from the pandemic and recent barrage of news – such as the cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal, a waterway managed by Egypt.

READ MORE: Egypt mummies pass through Cairo in ancient rulers’ parade