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CAIRO – In something that hasn’t been seen in probably thousands of years, former rulers of the ancient world were paraded through the streets of Egypt as they were moved to their new resting places.

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It cost the Egyptian government millions of dollars to transport 22 mummies — 18 kings and four queens — from their exhibits at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo to their new home at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, three miles away, BBC News reported.

“The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade” took the former Egyptian leaders along the path of the Nile. It was designed not only to show the history of the country but also to welcome back travelers after the coronavirus pandemic is resolved, National Geographic reported.

“This parade will make all Egyptians proud of their country. In a time of COVID, they want to be happy, to feel proud of their ancestors. They will be waiting in the streets to say hello to their kings,” archaeologist Zahi Hawass told National Geographic.

The rulers were carried in specially designed vehicles, equipped with special shock absorbers, in order of their reigns, starting with the 17th Dynasty’s Seqenenre Taa II to the 12th century BC’s Ramses IX, BBC News reported.

They were escorted by a motorcade, including replicas of horse-drawn war chariots.

The mummies themselves were in nitrogen-filled boxes to protect the fragile remains.

The mummies were first found in 1881 and 1898 in modern-day Luxor, previously called Thebes, in Upper Egypt. They were transported from what had been their final resting place in Luxor to Cairo on a boat on the Nile or in first-class train cars and put on display in the Egyptian Museum following their discovery, before being moved this week to their new home in the country’s newest museum, the BBC reported.

The Royal Hall of Mummies at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization will open later in April. The museum itself is open to the public now. A new Grand Egyptian Museum will open near the Great Pyramids in Giza and will house the treasures of King Tutankhamun, the BBC reported.