Monday, December 05, 2011

Princess Samiha's former palace undergoes restoration

Ahram Online (Nevine El-Aref)

Overlooking Zamalek's Nile Corniche stands the three-storey building that once hosted Khedive Ismail’s granddaughter, princess Samiha Kamel, with a distinguished architectural style that combines the Mamluk, Ottoman, European, Andalusian and Moroccan styles. The awe-inspiring edifice has four facades crowned by a tower similar to those found atop Mamluk fortresses. Its front is decorated with foliage elements and its gates and widows lined with geometrical ornamentation. . . .

Two years after her death, the palace was declared state property. In 1990, it was converted into the Great Cairo Library. . . .

Routine monitoring carried out by the SCA has revealed that the palace was improperly restored, its granite columns and front having been covered with fake painting. The SCA has carried out a restoration project to rescue the landmark building and restore its original look, said Mohsen Sayed Ali, head of the SCA’s Islamic and Coptic antiquities department.

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