A young lady playing Queen Cleopatra participates in a festive event themed "Cleopatra's Dream", in Alexandria City, Egypt, Sept. 30, 2017. The Egyptian coastal province of Alexandria on Saturday held a festive event themed "Cleopatra's Dream" to highlight the discovered sunken palace and city of the ancient Egyptian queen. (Xinhua/Meng Tao)
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian coastal province of Alexandria on Saturday held a festive event themed "Cleopatra's Dream" to highlight the discovered sunken palace and city of the ancient Egyptian queen.
A massive ancient-like parade, starting from Qaitbay Citadel, headed through the corniche avenue to newly-inagurated diving center Alexandria Dive, with a young lady playing Queen Cleopatra seated on a golden throne, dressed in golden royal robes and wearing a distinctive crown. She was also accompanied by an entourage of dozens of officers and maids dressed in ancient Egyptian outfits.
After arriving at the diving center, Queen Cleopatra was taken to a boat trip during which she handed over the key of Alexandria to Governor Mohamed Sultan when the boat passed by a yacht club, while Cairo Symphony Orchestra was giving a live performance of Aida Opera music in the background.
The celebration sheds light on Cleopatra's sunken city and other underwater ancient Egyptian and Greek antiquities in order to promote tourism and make the Mediterranean Sea city a top diving destination in Egypt and around the world.
Held in coordination with the Egyptian Tourism Ministry, the event was attended by Ashraf Sabry, head of Alexandria Dive, French underwater archeologist Franck Goddio whose team discovered the city in the 1990s, Volkhard Windfuhr, head of Cairo Foreign Press Association, among others.
"Alexandria is distinguished by having the sunken city, as well as shipwrecks dating back to the fourth and second centuries BC, besides other shipwrecks dating back to the first and second world wars," Sabry said.
Egyptian renowned filmmaker Khaled Youssef directed the carnival, where at least 50 young men and women participated in the simulated Pharaonic parade.
Not only the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, Queen Cleopatra VII is also considered one of the most famous ancient Egyptian rulers, since Egypt fell into a province in the Roman Empire during her reign.
Being of Greek Macedonian descent, the Egyptian queen drove the merge of the Pharaonic and Greek cultures in Egypt. She was a daughter of King Ptolemy XII and succeeded him as queen in 51 BC at the age of 18. She was born in 69 BC and died in 30 BC.
Boasting thousands of artifacts, the sunken city of Cleopatra, along with the city of Heracleion, was discovered beneath the eastern harbor area of Abu Qir Bay in the 1990s.
In 1996, the Egyptian government proposed establishing an underwater museum to display the treasures of the two cities, an idea that is supported by the UNESCO but yet to be carried out.