Cairo-Some have blamed the “Pharaoh’s curse” for a series of unfortunate incidents in Egypt in recent weeks, including the giant ship that blocked the Suez Canal for about a week, until it was released on Monday.
But despite this, many people hope to turn on the TV for the grand parade of 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies when they are transferred to the capital Cairo on Saturday. Officials urged people not to take to the streets due to coronavirus restrictions.
The authorities blocked the roads along the Nile River and carried out a carefully designed royal parade called the “Golden Parade”
The convoy used shock absorbers and specially designed nitrogen-filled capsules to transport 18 kings and 4 queens, most of them from the ancient times of the New Kingdom to ensure protection.
These national treasures traveled about 3 miles from the Egyptian Museum, which opened in Tahrir Square in the heart of Cairo in 1902, to the new home of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fusstat, the latter after the Arab conquest. The capital of the German dynasty.
After the boat blocked the Suez Canal, the moving mummies renewed talk of the pharaoh’s curse, especially on social media. At the end of last month, dozens of people were killed in a train collision and a building in the center of Cairo collapsed.
The warning on Tutankhamun’s tomb declared: “For those who disturb the peace of the king, death will rise soon.” Before the British archaeologist Howard Carter opened it in 1922, the warning said so. .
Later, members of his expedition succumbed to accidents and deaths, exacerbating the myth of the curse, although archaeologists and scientists now say that they are likely to be related to the dust and bacteria exposed in the sealed cave.
The Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass refuted this rumor.
“Before the mummy was going to walk on the streets of Cairo today, something happened in Egypt: the boat on the Suez Canal, the train also had an accident, and the house collapsed. Everyone said it was the curse of the mummy, but I said it was not there. The curse of the mummy.” He told NBC News. “This curse is good for TV, movies and newspapers, but it is not the case. There is no curse at all.”
On the contrary, Hawass said that locals and foreign tourists will be able to witness the “secrets” held by each mummy when they are exhibiting.
He said: “The military parade is important not only to Egypt but also to the whole world, because 22 kings will walk on the streets of Cairo like magic.”
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Archaeologists discovered two batches of mummies in the Deir Al Bahari mortuary temple complex in Luxor and the nearby Valley of the Kings in 1881 and 1898, respectively.
The oldest mummy in this group is the mummy of the late 17th century king Seqenenre Tao, who reigned in the 16th century BC and is believed to have died of violence.
The parade will also include the mummies of Ramses II, Seti I and Queen Amos Nefertari, who are responsible for military expeditions, trade networks, and the construction of huge monuments and works of art.
Salima Ikram, an Egyptologist at the American University in Cairo, told Reuters: “Through such a move, the situation is very good, and the mummies deserve the compensation they deserve.” “These are the kings of Egypt. These are pharaohs. So this is a way of paying respect.”
Charlene Gubash reports from Cairo and Adela Suliman in London reports.
Raf Sanchez and Reuters Contributed.