Saturday, August 01, 2009

Cairo zoo to stay put after over 100 years


The historical Giza zoo, near the centre of Cairo, will stay where it was built over 120 years ago, confirmed the head of Islamic monuments of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Hisham El Leithy, speaking to ANSAmed.

After speculation about moving the zoo to another area of the Egyptian capital, the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, has declared the zoological gardens an 'archaeological site', thereby restricting any intervention to the park. ''A committee of archaeologists inspected the buildings in the garden, which were built during the time of the Viceroy Ismail who ruled Egypt between 1863 and 1879, and decided to declare it an archaeological monument,'' explained Hawass, adding that two buildings inside of the zoo will be added to the roster of Islamic and Coptic antiquities, the ''Japanese kiosk and Citadel Hill''.

Among the other unique characteristics of the zoological gardens, one of the oldest in the world, is the iron suspension bridge built by French architect Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who also built the famous Parisian tower. The zoo, which is located on a 3 hectare surface, was built on the grounds of the summer residence of the royal family of King Farouk, known as the ''Garden of Pleasures'', which they continued to use for about 50 years after the opening of the park.

See the above page for the full story.

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