Cairo: A leading Egyptian archaeologist has denied that the so-called “Pharaohs’ curse” was behind a recent series of mishaps as the country is planning to relocate mummies from a famous museum in Cairo.
Over the past few days, Egypt has seen its Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest maritime routes, blocked after a giant container ship ran aground in the passageway through around 12 per cent of the global trade flows.
On Friday, two trains collided in southern Egypt, killing 22 people. On Saturday, a high-rise building collapsed in Cairo, leaving at least 23 people dead.
Some people claimed on social media that the successive mishaps were a manifestation of the “Pharaohs’ curse” because of next week’s plan to move a number of ancient mummies in a high-profile parade from the National Museum in Tahrir Square to another museum in Islamic Cairo.
“This talk is baseless because the relocation of the mummies will honour them as they will be put in a place becoming of them and their history,” renowned archaeologist Zahi Hawwas said.
He told private television Al Nahar that the death of some archaeologists after they opened ancient Egyptian tombs in the past years was because these tombs had poisonous germs inside.
“The procession of the royal mummies [during their relocation] is the biggest publicity for Egypt. The eyes of the whole world will be fixed on Egypt amid great respect during the transport of the mummies that will take 40 minutes,” Hawwas argued.
Egypt has recently stepped up efforts to overhaul antiquity sites and build more museums as part of endeavours to rejuvenate its tourism, which is a major source of the national income.