Mummy Parade in Cairo

18 kings and 4 queens - mummified members of ancient Egyptian royalty - paraded through downtown Cairo last weekend on their way to a new museum.

The 22 mummies were being relocated from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, about 3 miles away. Officials hope the new museum will be a boon for the country's lucrative tourism industry.


Saturday's pageant was named The Pharaohs' Golden Parade. Among the prominent past rulers was King Ramses II, one of Egypt's most famous Pharaohs, who reigned in 12th Century BC. Ramses II ruled the New Kingdom for 67 years, and was renowned for signing the first known peace treaty.


The 22 fragile royal figures were placed in nitrogen-filled boxes for protection, and each one was transported in a stylized vehicle specially rigged to carry the remains. Roads along the route were repaved to ensure a smooth relocation; a security motorcade surrounded the convoy.


The elaborate procession and its hundreds of costumed workers drew huge crowds and gave widespread attention to Egypt's robust collections of antiquities. Visitors can see the mummies in their new home in Royal Mummies Hall from 18 April.

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