Egypt has moved the sixth chariot of the pharaoh Tutankhamun to the Grand Egyptian Museum on the Giza Pyramids Plateau. The museum, which will showcase antiquities that span Egypt’s ancient history, is still under construction; its partial opening is scheduled for later this year.
Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani was on hand to welcome the arrival of the chariot, the sixth and last of Tutankhamun’s to join the five other hunting and military chariots at the museum.
The chariots had been among the funerary collection found in Tutankhamun’s tomb, which was discovered intact by the Briton Howard Carter in 1922. Tutankhamun reigned from 1332 to 1323BC, and the discovery of his undisturbed tomb remains one of the most sensational archaeological discoveries of all time.
Following their discovery, four of the chariots were moved to Cairo for display at the Egyptian Museum in the capital’s central Tahrir Square, one was displayed at Luxor Museum, whereas the sixth had to undergo restoration since it had been found in disbanded, intact pieces. It was loaned as is to the Egyptian National Military Museum.
It took restorer Nadia Loqma nine years to painstakingly assemble and restore the sixth chariot which was put on display at the Military Museum in 1987.
To make the recent move of the elm wood chariot to the GEM, the priceless artefact was disassembled, cleaned of dust, fortified, treated against moisture, and secured against transport tremors or shocks. It was then carefully packaged in seven boxes.
On Saturday 5 May, the boxes including the chariot pieces travelled in style through Cairo, paraded with a military police escort; it was moved from the Military Museum at the 12th century Saladin Citadel, east of Cairo, to the GEM on the Giza Plateau west of Cairo where some 7,000 sq.m. of space have been allocated to king Tutankhamun’s collection.
6 May 2018