Inside Beram El-Tonsy (Photo: Ahram Arabic)
Unidentified assailants on Monday attacked a nine-day-old sit-in at Alexandria's Beram El-Tonsy Theatre, injuring several activists.
According to Ahmed Shawky of the Alexandrian theatre community, several "thugs" armed with bladed weapons attacked activists attending the sit-in.
Shawky told Ahram Online that the attackers appeared to target leaders of the sit-in.
Among those severely injured in the assault were theatre director Ahmed Abu El-Nasr – who Shawky said was in hospital suffering severe brain-bleeding – and outdoor theatre director Osama Gaber.
The sit-in, which has sought to "occupy" the theatre, is intended to demonstrate how state-owned cultural spaces can be effectively run by independent culture activists and artists.
The sit-in has also served as a platform for a series of discussions on culture policy and the role of Egypt's culture ministry.
A similar sit-in has been held in Cairo inside the culture ministry building to demand the dismissal of recently-appointed Culture Minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz and a halt to the alleged takeover of Egypt's cultural scene by the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which President Mohamed Morsi hails.