Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 4 April 2021

The Golden Parade

Twenty-two ancient royal mummies were moved from the Egyptian museum to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization last night in an extravagant ceremony dubbed the “Golden Parade.” Roads were closed in the center of the city to allow the procession of golden, pharaonic vehicles to make their way south to Fustat, where they were greeted by a 21-gun salute before the inauguration of the museum. The pharaohs were transported in specially-designed nitrogen-filled capsules to protect them, former antiquities minister and self-styled Indiana Jones Zahi Hawass said.

Who are the mummies? Eighteen kings and four queens, mostly from the ancient New Kingdom which ruled Egypt between 1539 B.C. to 1075 B.C., were transported to the Civilization Museum. They include Ramses II, Ramses IX, Thutmose III, Mert Amon, the only female pharaoh ruler Queen Hatshepsut, and the last king of the 17th Dynasty Seqenenre Tao, in addition to Seti I and Ahmose-Nefertari, the cabinet noted in a statement.

Why the move? “We chose the Civilization Museum because we want, for the first time, to display the mummies in a civilized manner, an educated manner, and not for amusement as they were in the Egyptian Museum,” Hawass said.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi personally welcomed the mummies to their permanent home at a ceremony to inaugurate the new museum, according to an Ittihadiya statement. “This majestic scene is a new evidence of the greatness of this people, the guarding of this unique civilization that extends into the depths of history,” the president tweeted. Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El Anany described the parade as a “unique global event that will not be repeated,” and said it will promote Egyptian tourism and raise cultural awareness (watch, runtime 8:41).

Twenty of the mummies will go on display to the public from 18 April at the museum, with the remaining two to be stored, the Associated Press quoted the Tourism Ministry as saying. The Fustat museum was opened with limited exhibits from 2017 and will open fully today.

The parade dominated the airwaves last night: All of the nation’s talking heads had their eyes trained on the royal cavalcade. Lamees El Hadidi’s Kelma Akhira was entirely dedicated to the coverage of the parade (watch, runtime: 1:46:55), as was Al Hayah Al Youm, which screened the parade and inauguration ceremony live (watch, runtime: 3:27:46). Amr Adib interviewed Hawass, who told the El Hekaya host that the museum is designed to narrate the history of the Egytian civilization and will display the mummies as the main “protagonists'' of the story (watch, runtime 2:36). Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa featured an interview with El Anany (watch, runtime 6:20).

The event, under the #موكب_المومياوات_الملكية hashtag, was trending number one on Twitter, Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa said (watch, runtime 8:08), and claimed that 1 bn people were following the live stream of the parade.

The parade is everywhere in the foreign press this morning: Associated Press | Reuters | NYT | BBC | Washington Post.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.