In Photos: Egypt transports King Khufu's first boat to Grand Egyptian Museum

Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 7 Aug 2021

The procession was to take about 10 hours using a specialised remote-controlled vehicle imported from Belgium

Khufu GEM transport
All Photos: Ayman Barayez

Egypt started on Friday evening transporting the first Khufu solar boat from its current display in a special museum located at the southern side of the Great Pyramid of Khufu on the Giza Plateau to its new permanent exhibition at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), in a journey that was to take around 10 hours.

Using a smart, remote-controlled vehicle imported from Belgium, the 42 metre long and 20 ton boat was being transported amid tight security measures.

Photo: Ayman Barayez

Khufu's first boat, known in the media as the solar boat, was discovered in May 1954 by the late renowned Egyptologist Kamal El-Malakh, during an expedition to remove sand from the southern side of the Great Pyramid of King Khufu.

After its restoration and reconstruction, the boat was then put on display in a museum bearing its name on Giza Plateau which, unfortunately, marred the beauty of the pyramids, the only surviving wonder of the ancient world.

In addition, the museum was not equipped to house this magnificent wooden artifact, one of the most important in the world, whose organic structure soon began to decay.

Thus, the transportation of the boat to a new venue was imperative.

Many ideas to move Khufu’s boat were studied. All of them involved dismantling the boat and reconstructing it at the GEM. Such ideas proved risky, however, because this could be more dangerous than keeping the boat in its current location.

Moving the boat in one piece was the only suitable solution, like the transportation of the Ramses II colossus from Ramses Square to the GEM.

Upon its arrival, the boat would be installed inside its permanent location for restoration and will be available for viewing by visitors following the grand opening of the GEM.

Khufu 33
Photo: Ayman Barayez

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