Egypt became the center of the world’s attention earlier this month when the government staged the most lavish and unique parade ever seen in the Arab country.

Starting in Cairo's city center on the edge of the River Nile, a highly unusual procession made its way to the south of the capital some four miles away.

Led by two horse-drawn chariots, the cortege was transporting the remains of 22 ancient mummies to their new permanent home at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

Let's look at how Egypt treated the royalty of their past.

Via Facebook

The Pharaoh's Golden Parade

The mummies of 18 kings and three Queens, some dating more than 3,500 years, were being relocated amid much fanfare from the old Egyptian Museum to the new building in customized trucks.

With the world’s press in attendance, the event was beamed live on Egyptian TV for over two hours. The floats, which set off in chronological order according to their reigns, from the oldest pharaoh to the most recent, took about 40 minutes to reach their destination.

Decorated in stylized Egyptian motifs reminiscent of funereal boats of the period, the trucks transporting the caskets were fitted with special shock-absorbers designed to minimize vibration.

Via Facebook

To give an idea how precious the cargo was, some of the roads through which the motorcade traveled had been repaved, especially for the event, while the mummies were placed in nitrogen-filled caskets to help preserve them during transit.

Via Wikipedia

A New Museum Fit For Pharaohs

Among the mummies were the 3,500-years-old remains of Queen Hatshepsut, who built the vast Deir el-Bahari Temple, and King Rameses II considered the greatest Egyptian pharaoh of them all.

Fittingly, when the mummies arrived at their final resting place, they were greeted by the country’s president, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, and a 21-gun salute by the Republican Guard.

The nerve-racking operation had been necessary for many reasons, not least the fact that the 120-year-old museum building was no longer fit for purpose.

Not only was space at a premium, but two incidents, in particular, had raised serious concerns about the safety of the exhibits.

During the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the museum was broken into, and some 88 artifacts were either damaged or stolen. This was followed by a more serious incident in 2013 during more political unrest, leading to riots and even greater looting, when two mummies were set on fire, and some 500 artifacts were stolen.

The old museum’s central location and its proximity to Tahrir Square, a traditional rallying point for demonstrators, made a move to the new building – which had been planned years before - all the more urgent.

In contrast to the old building, the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization is located away from the city center in Fustat, the site of Egypt's first capital city near Giza. Covering a massive 870,000 square feet of floor space and offering much better humidity and temperature control, the complex now contains not only the 22 mummies being displayed in the Royal Mummies Hall but will eventually house up to 50,000 ancient artifacts.