Now and up to the 31st of October, 2020, the Egyptian art complex, Aisha Fahmy Palace, located in Zamalek, is hosting an exhibition of European art.
As rich Egypt is in historical places and monuments, some are not as widely known as others, but secretly hold within their corners the most visually-appealing details and interesting historical tales.
After being closed during the pandemic period, the ancient Aisha Fahmy Palace is finally back and open to visitors. The tickets are completely free of charge and include a tour around the palace, an illustration of the palace’s great history, and a number of selections of European art. The exhibition hosts some of the most famous paintings in the history of English and French origins.
All that is required for entrée, is for you to leave your national ID or passport at the gate and enjoy your tour. The palace is currently open from 9 AM to 9PM every day, except on Fridays.
The Palace was named after Princess Aisha Fahmy, daughter of the Egyptian aristocrat and army chief of Kind Fouad I, Ali Fahmy. Princess Aisha Fahmy was the wife of the Egyptian actor and director Youssef Wahbi. It was built in 1907. The palace was owned by her father then was later passed down to her after his tragic death, when she also bought her siblings shares in the palace.
In 1958 the palace ownership was given to the Ministry of Culture. In 1975, the then-Minister of Culture Yusuf Sibai made the palace a part of the Arts and Literature Association. In the following year, the palace became the Complex of Arts.
The palace was built in classic European style and designed by the Italian architect Antonio Lasciac, by the Nile River on an area of 2.700 square meters.
The historic gem was closed for more than a decade for development before being registered as an archaeological building in 2010. Later on, it was reopened in 2017 to become the arts complex it is today. The sublime rococo interior of silk-clad and frescoed walls, carved-wood fireplaces, painted lacquer-work and a wonderful triple-arched stained-glass window overlooking the grand staircase has all been fabulously restored to finery. The mansion’s grand salons are now to be used as a gallery, with a program of temporary exhibitions, like the current on-going one.
The palace is made up of two stories, containing five rooms with various original textile art and European oil paintings. One of which was originally used for playing billiards and was later turned into a living room, where the name of Fahmy’s father has been engraved in wood. The furniture in the living room, however, did not belong to the palace or its original owners; as the government and curators carefully chose the furniture to match the decorations in the room.
One of the special rooms in the palace is the Japanese room, located on the second floor. It was specifically designed and gifted to Princess Aisha, with Japanese wording and imagery to be found on the walls of the room, as well as golden statues, representing figures from the Japanese culture and mythology.
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