According to officials, King Khufu’s Watercraft, the oldest and largest wooden boat unearthed in Egypt, has been painstakingly relocated from its traditional location next to the Giza pyramids to a nearby enormous museum.
The Solar Boat, a 4,600-year-old vessel, was relocated to the neighbouring Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), which is set to open later this year.
“The aim of the transportation project is to protect and preserve the biggest and oldest organic artifact made of wood in the history of humanity for the future generations,” the tourism and antiquities ministry said in a statement.
The cedarwood boat, which is 42 metres (138 feet) long and weighs 20 tonnes, required 48 hours to move to its new home. According to the ministry, it landed at the GEM in the early hours of Saturday.
According to Atef Moftah, supervisor general of the GEM project, the boat was delivered in a single piece inside a metal cage carried on a remote-controlled truck imported specifically for the operation.
The vessel, discovered in 1954 in the Great Pyramid’s southern corner, has been on display for decades at a museum on the Giza Plateau bearing its name.
Egypt claims that when it opens, the Grand Egyptian Museum, which has been under construction for the past 17 years, will house more than 100,000 antiquities.