Ramses II, the Mummy that got a Passport, Flew to Paris and was received with Full Military Honors

Did you know that Pharaoh Ramses II visited Paris, had to get a passport, and was received in France with full Military Honors? And all of that 3000 years after his death.

In 1976 Pharaoh Ramses II flew for the first time from Egypt to France with a passport and his respective Schengen visa.

The funny thing is that the ‘Egyptian Ruler’ was more than 3,000 years dead and yet, the French authorities made it clear that this requirement was indispensable for the ancient Pharoah to enter the country.

The mummy of Ramses II was discovered in 1881 by anthropologists Gaston Maspero and H. Brugsch and conserved in the Cairo Museum where it was listed as one of the best-preserved mummies ever discovered in history.

But mummification is a rather complex process and the room where the Pharaoh’s mummy rested did not have the ideal conditions for the preservation of the body. Eventually, the mummy of Ramses II deteriorated until the remains were in obvious danger.

The mummified pharaoh had to undergo a meticulous fungicidal removal process in order to save the remains of the Pharaoh from further damage.

For this, the museum officials agreed to a treatment done by French experts, who eventually found how the mummy of Ramses II was infested with 89 types of fungi.

A badly-damaged, giant statue of Ramesses II in Memphis. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain
A badly-damaged, giant statue of Ramesses II in Memphis. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain

The trip to Paris was imminent to solve the deterioration, so the coordinators had to start the travel process for Ramses II since the French authorities did not allow the entry to the national territory of any foreigner without a passport, whether alive or dead.

This is how this pharaoh, became the very first mummy in the history of the planet to obtain a passport, more than 3,000 years after his death.

Archaeologist David S. Anderson made a recreation of the Ramses II document.


Oh, but the best part happened when the mummy touched down in France.

As the airplane with the Pharaoh’s mummy landed at Le Bourget airport, the mummy received military honors as every head of state.

After the successful fungi treatment, the remains of Ramses II flew to back to Egypt and were returned to the Museum, together with his passport.

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