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Friday, 06 August 2021

Cairo’s Royal Carriages Museum receives Abbas Helmy II chariot for restoration and display

In 2008, authorities foiled an attempt to smuggle the chariot out of the country through Safaga Port

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 10 Dec 2020
Egypt
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The Royal Carriages Museum in Cairo’s Boulaq district received the chariot of Khedive Abbas Helmy II for restoration and display.

The chariot had been placed for almost 12 years at the Citadel of Qusseir in the Red Sea governorate.

In 2008, authorities foiled an attempt to smuggle the chariot out of the country through Safaga Port.

Moamen Othman, head of the Museums Sector, said that when the prosecutor-general issued a decree to hand over the chariot to the Supreme Council of Antiquities, it was packed and transported to the Royal Carriages Museum for restoration and display.

The chariot was sealed and packed according to standard scientific and technical procedures used in the transportation of antiquities.

Ahmed Al-Sabbagh, director-general of the museum, said the chariot was of the type of “Alay” and dates back to the era of Khedive Abbas Helmy II.

It is 3.5 metres long, 1.5 metres wide, and carried on four wheels of wood and leather. It consists of a cabin of brass and wood clad with leather. It has two side doors, two seats facing each other, while the cabin provides a seat for the driver, behind which is a seating for the guards. Four copper lanterns for lighting are placed on the four sides of the cabin along with a copper bell.

Al-Sabbagh said the unique black-coloured Sharapan chariot with a red mastic is under restoration to be exhibited at the museum's Celebration Hall.

The most distinguished feature of the chariot, a cabriolet used for trips, is that it has three seats lined up next to each other. 

Egypt

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