Egypt's Antiquities Minister gives go-ahead for Mohamed Ali palace restoration
After being restored in 2000, the palace fell again into disrepair and has been off limits for tourists since 2012, with a car bomb last year damaging it even further
Egypt's Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany gave the go ahead for the restoration of the Mohamed Ali palace in Shubra El-Kheima that has been off limits to tourists since 2012 due to its poor preservation.
El-Enany, who was touring the site north of Cairo in Qalioubiya Governorate, said that restorers, archaeologists and engineers are currently carrying out comprehensive studies on the architectural condition of the palace.
The palace's distinguished garden will also be rehabilitated in order for it to be used for archaeological conferences and cultural events.
Regretfully, several parts of the palace were severely damaged after a car bomb hit a neighbouring security building in August 2015.
The Fountain (Faskiya) and Gabalaya buildings of the palace were badly affected by the explosion. Moreover, a modern lamp in the main hall of the fountain building fell down and broke completely.
Decorations on the doors were damaged and dislodged. All 12 stained glass windows in the building's dining room were broken.
Significant cracks have spread all over the building's walls and floors, the most critical of which are those found at the northwest corner of the building and northern section. The Waterwheel (Al-Sakiya) Tower is safe and has been well conserved.
The Mohamed Ali Palace, once known as the Egyptian Versailles, was comprehensively restored in 2000 in order to save its exquisite early 19th-century buildings, which feature a blend of rococo and baroque styles.
The palace site has groves of shrubs, a labyrinth, a hippodrome and a great expanse of water surrounded by galleries flanked by four pavilions. There is also a mosque and wide tree-lined avenues.