15 April 2021. You may well have seen videos of the event online or on TV. On the 3 April 2021, a huge parade took place in the heart of Cairo, Egypt. The eyes of the world once again turned to the country for its ancient treasures. In this article, we’ll tell you what all the fuss surrounding this Egypt news was about. You may also be wondering how our future trips to Egypt could be affected by the grand occasion. Read on to find out.
What was the parade for?
The parade involved the translocation of 22 of Egypt’s ancient rulers. The pharaohs were moved from their old home at the original Egyptian Museum to their final resting places in the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The museum partially opened in February 2017 but isn’t yet fully open to the public. Security was very tight around the so-called “Pharaoh’s Golden Parade”, as the fragile mummies were relocated in a multi-million dollar spectacle. The authorities hope that global coverage of the procession will help to boost interest in Egypt for foreign tourists. The country’s crucial tourism sector has been virtually shut down since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking of COVID-19, there were a lot of people there
If you saw the parade on the international or Egypt news channels then you may have noticed that there were crowds lining Tahrir Square and much of the parade route. Anything to do with the country’s ancient pharaohs is big Egypt news. So, it makes sense that the locals wanted to get out and see the parade. Although Egypt experienced an initial surge in COVID-19 cases in early 2020, the authorities have (according to the government) managed to get a good hold over the pandemic and restrictions on open air gatherings have been lifted. The country has also begun to ramp up vaccinations following a sluggish start. This means Egyptians were allowed to gather outdoors in order to watch the grand spectacle. We must caveat that the situation is everchanging. And the data coming out of Egypt regarding COVID-19 cases is somewhat muddled!
Which pharaohs were moved?
The 22 pharaohs (18 kings and 4 queens) were moved in chronological order of their reigns, with the earliest rulers coming first. Some of the big names to have been part of the parade include Ramses II, whose impressive temple of Abu Simbel plays host to the bi-annual Sun Festival. Queen Hatshepsut, Seti I and Ahmose-Nefertari were also part of the event. The group of mummies being moved were part of a collection discovered in 1881 and 1898 in the ruins of Thebes, once Egypt’s capital city and now modern day Luxor.
Each pharaoh was transported in a horse drawn carriage designed specially to transport the kings and queens safely. Men marched with drums and women dressed in traditional Ancient Egyptian dress ahead of the parade. Roads along the route were repaved to ensure the mummies had a smooth journey to their new home.
And they were moving to a new museum?
That’s right. Perhaps bigger Egypt news than the parade itself is that the mummies are to be housed in a new museum for visitors. They have now arrived at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. They will be on display from 18 April 2021 and are to be housed in the Royal Hall of Mummies. This exhibit has been designed to replicate the famous Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
What about the Grand Egyptian Museum?
As you probably know, the Egyptian authorities are also working on a brand new, cutting edge museum. Located near the Giza Pyramids in Cairo, the new attraction is known as the Grand Egyptian Museum. It is due to open later this year or early into 2022, the authorities haven’t announced an exact date yet. This museum is separate to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. We have already adapted our tours so that as soon as the Grand Egyptian Museum opens, we will be visiting it as part of our scheduled touring. The largest ever Tutankhamun exhibit is expected to make up part of the collection. And the museum will also make use of modern technology such as virtual reality.
So, following this Egypt news, will I be able to see the mummies on tour with you?
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization doesn’t currently form part of our tour itineraries. However, the relocation of some of the country’s most famous rulers to the museum is an important factor to consider. We are currently exploring ways to adapt our tours to visit this museum as well as the Grand Egyptian Museum. We don’t want our travellers to miss a thing when they journey to Egypt with us!
Any new attraction is exciting Egypt news. And with travel hopefully making a return in the near future, we cannot wait to get our tour groups back on the ground in Egypt.