(CNN)— The ancient mummies of Egyptian royal pharaohs will come out of their resting place this weekend and will march through the streets of Cairo in search of a new home.
The plot that sounds like a movie is actually part of a luxurious celebration of Egyptian history, and a plan to transfer some of its most precious treasures to a new high-tech facility.
On Saturday, the mummy of Ramses the Great and his 21 pharaohs will participate in the highly anticipated “Pharaoh’s Golden Parade” organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
According to reports, the celebration will include a horse-drawn chariot, a choir that sings in an ancient language, and numerous movie stars and dignitaries, but the Egyptian authorities have always locked the official details of the event under the key.
“This is really surprising.”
However, it is difficult to make an event of this scale surprising, especially when the rehearsal took place in the centre of Cairo recently. Excited Egyptians took pictures of custom-made mummy cars decorated with golden ancient patterns and hurriedly uploaded them to social media.
The purpose of the parade is to remove the 18 kings and 4 queens of Egypt, as well as their coffins and objects from their former residence in the Egyptian Museum.
They will be transported five kilometers (three miles) south to the new high-tech resting place of the National Museum of Civilization (NMEC) in Egypt.
Although NMEC partially opened in 2017, the military parade will symbolize the grand opening.
Ghoneim said: “This is the presidential opening.” The completion of the Royal Mummy Hall seems to be a unique museum experience.
He added: “The whole idea is not a mummy, the whole idea is the way you show the mummy… This is the way you tell the story, the environment, the atmosphere you feel when you enter.”
Ghoneim said that visitors entering the Royal Mummy Hall will feel akin to entering a tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
All 22 royal mummies came from the New Kingdom. In this era, tombs were built underground with hidden entrances to defend against robbers. The world is about 600 years away from the gorgeous old kingdom royal builders, who built huge pyramid tombs.
Prepare the mummy
A virtual tour of the tomb of King Tutankhamun, buried in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt.
Dr. Mostafa Ismail, the head of protection of the NMEC mummification protection laboratory and storage room, led a team of 48 people to prepare the royal mummies.
He told CNN that the protection process involves placing each mummy in an oxygen-free nitrogen capsule, “this keeps the mummy from being damaged by humidity, especially when we are talking about bacteria, fungi and insects.”
The capsule is surrounded by a soft material that distributes pressure and reduces vibration during transportation.
When the mummy reaches the NMEC, the display unit will have exactly the same conditions as the nitrogen balloon. “Therefore, when we take the mummies out of the box and put them in these devices, there will be no impact on the mummies,” Ismail added.
Each mummy will accompany all the objects they find, including the coffin.
A CT scan will also be shown on the display to show what is under the package, sometimes including any fractures in the bones or diseases that tormented the royal family.
“We want visitors to understand how the main content of these mummies is to keep them mummified for a long time.”
When asked if his team found anything new about the mummies before they were preparing to move, Ismail said: “Many things, but he didn’t reveal them before the parade. Therefore, there are more surprises.
Cairo’s new cultural center
There is no doubt that the Royal Mummy Hall will be a highlight for visitors to the Egyptian National Museum of Civilization, but executive director Ahmed Ghoneim wants to make the location of the museum different from nearby institutions.
He said: “I did not pay attention to the Pharaoh era as most people thought.” “Most Egyptians and non-Egyptians, whenever they go to the Egyptian Museum, they think they will visit the Pharaoh.
“Here, I will treat myself in a different way. I am telling a different story. I have traveled through history and moved towards the present.”
The first temporary exhibition will focus on Egyptian textiles and fashion. Ghoneim said: “All the history from carpets to clothes.”
Through the exhibition, the museum will tell a rich story about the achievements of Egyptian civilization, but the museum will also become a cultural center.
“One place provides everything, part education, part culture, part entertainment, part night dining place, etc. It is unique.”
Finally, 3,234 years after his death, Ramses II can finally rest in peace.
The museum will open to the public on the day after the parade on April 4, and the Royal Mummy Hall will open on April 18 in two weeks. The Pharaoh’s Golden Parade will be broadcast live on the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. .