The Fountain (Faskiya) and Gabalaya buildings of Mohamed Ali Palace in Shubra El-Kheima were badly affected by a bomb explosion nearby early Thursday.
During an inspection tour, Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty told Ahram Online that a modern lamp in the main hall of the Fountain building fell down and broke completely.
Meanwhile, decorations on the doors were damaged and dislodged. All 12 stained glass windows in the building's dining room were broken.
Mohamed Ali Shobra Palace ceiling damaged from the blast (Photo: Nevine El-Aref)
Eldamaty continued that the glass work on the facades of the western and eastern entrances of the Gabalaya building were destroyed. He asserted that critical cracks have spread all over the buildings' walls and floors, the most critical of which are those found at the northwest corner of the building and northern section.
Eldamaty pointed out that the Waterwheel (Al-Sakiya) Tower is safe and in a secure level of conservation.
An architectural and archaeological committee has been formed to determine the full extent of the damage done and to start immediate conservation work.
Mohamed Ali Shobra Palace decoration damaged from the blast (Photo: Nevine El-Aref)
Mostafa Amin, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Ahram Online in a telephone interview that the committee believes the damage is reversible and did not affect the main building of the palace itself.
He asserted that a comprehensive restoration project is to start immediately to return the damaged buildings to their original state.
Thursday's car bombing, which ripped through a state security building in Qaliyubia's Shubra El-Kheima, left at least 29 slightly injured including six policemen, according to the interior ministry.
The blast was claimed by Ansar Beit el Maqdis group, an Islamic State affiliate in Egypt that has been spearheading a mounting two-year militant campaign.
View of the cracks in walls of Mohamed Ali Shobra Palace (Photo: Nevine El-Aref)