2021 - Egyptian Golden Parade of Pharaohs


On April 3rd, 2021, Egypt held a gala parade to celebrate the transport of 22 of its cherished royal mummies from central Cairo to a huge new museum further south in the capital. sThe ceremony snaked along the Nile corniche from the Egyptian Museum, which overlooks Tahrir Square, to the recently opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in the Fustat district, which was the site of Egypt's first Islamic capital.

The mummies were being shipped in climate-controlled cases mounted into trucks painted with wings and pharaonic architecture for the hour-long journey from their former home in the older, Egyptian Museum. The vessels were built to look like the ancient boats used to take dead pharaohs to their tombs. To ensure safety, each mummy was put in a special capsule filled with nitrogen, and the capsules would be transported on carts built to cradle and stable them.

The bulk of the mummies date from the ancient New Dynasty, which ruled Egypt from 1539 B.C. to 1539 A.D. According to the Ministry of Antiquities, it dates to 1075 B.C. From 1871, archaeologists uncovered the mummies in two batches at the Deir Al Bahari mortuary temple complex in Luxor and the adjacent Valley of the Kings. They include Ramses II, one of Egypt's most prominent pharaohs, and Queen Hatshepsut, Egypt's first woman Pharaoh, who wore a fake beard to defy custom, which dictated that women serve only as second-class citizens in the royal hierarchy. The oldest is that of Seqenenre Tao, the 17th Dynasty's last king, who reigned in the 16th century BC and is said to have died violently. The mummies of Seti I and Ahmose-Nefertari are also on the record.

Following the Arab invasion, Fustat became Egypt's capital under the Umayyad dynasty. The mummies, which include 18 pharaohs and four other royals, were initially buried in underground tombs in the Valley of Kings and the nearby Deir el-Bahri site about 3,000 years ago. Both areas are close to Luxor, Egypt's southernmost settlement. The tombs were discovered for the first time in the nineteenth century. The mummies were transported to Cairo by vessels that sailed the Nile after they were excavated. Others were stored, and others were displayed in glass cases. Ramses II's remains were moved to Paris in 1976 for thorough reconstruction by French scientists.

Egypt's attempts to draw international visitors by publicizing its ancient treasures included the made-for-TV parade. Following the 2011 mass revolt that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak and, more recently, the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism industry has been hit hard. Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled el-Anany proclaimed, "This parade is a one-of-a-kind global phenomenon that will not be replicated."

"The mummies are enjoying their due for doing things this way, with all the pomp and circumstance. This are Egypt's rulers, or pharaohs, as they are called. Therefore, it is a way of sharing gratitude "Salima Ikram, an Egyptologist at the American University in Cairo, echoed this sentiment. The event began in the late afternoon and was televised live on state television and other satellite stations throughout the world. It was also live streamed on social media sites by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

The "Golden Parade of the Pharaohs" circled Tahrir Square, where officials displayed an obelisk and four sphinxes that will now adorn Cairo's most iconic square. “This glorious scene is a new proof of the glory of this people, the guarding of this unique civilization that stretches into the depths of history,” Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who will host the mummies at the new museum, tweeted. According to the ministry, 20 of the mummies will be exhibited at the new museum, while the other two will be preserved.

The Mummy Return & Modern-Day Viral Superstitions


Egypt's series of tragedies, which included the complete closing of the Suez Canal and the deaths of hundreds of people in various accidents, have been credited to angry pharaohs by those who claim the country is cursed by ancient mummies. Many claim it was more than a coincidence that all of these crimes occurred at the same time that Egypt wanted to move 22 royal mummies to a new museum, and that it is attributed to what they have nicknamed "the curse of the Pharaohs."

Before the ‘Ever Given’ container vessel blocked the Suez Canal, a major foreign shipping route, the awaited move was a major topic of debate. The incident was quickly followed by a massive train crash in Sohag, which claimed the lives of at least 19 people and wounded dozens more. The next day, a house in Cairo's Gesr Suez district collapsed, killing 18 more people and displacing dozens more. Later, a fire broke out outside the Zagazig train station, and a smaller fire broke out inside the Al-Azhar tunnel. In Mariotya, an under-construction bridge column collapsed.

Many observers have commented that all of these events happening one after the other were unprecedented, and that there may be a more important explanation for them to have occurred – rather than simply a streak of devastatingly bad luck. Instead of searching for a rational, scientific explanation, an inscription discovered in an ancient tomb was quickly shared online as a potential cause of the events.

A curse written on King Tut's tomb reads, 

"Those who threaten the king's peace will reach death on swift wings."

“Please, do not move the mummies from their location, this is better...,” one social media user wrote in answer to the inscription. Be aware of the pharaohs' wrath.” The ancient phenomenon indicates that anybody who disturbs the mummies of ancient Egypt would be cursed. According to renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, the alleged pharaohs' curse had little to do with current affairs in Egypt. During a television interview, Hawass went on to state that "the curse of the pharaohs" did not exist. The case of moving the mummies to a new museum, according to Hawass, will be broadcast around the world and will be "the country's greatest promotion."

 The parade culminated in the move of 22 royal mummies from the Tahrir Square museum to the National Museum of Egyptian Culture, where they will be on permanent display. On April 3, the event took place in Cairo as planned.