Protesters during Culture Ministry Sit-in (Photo: Ahram Online)
The artists and intellectuals sit-in at the culture ministry in Cairo has ended Thursday with the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, state news agency MENA reported.
The sit-in to demand the removal of Minister of Culture Alaa Abdel-Aziz lasted 29 days. The protesters escalated their demand for former president Mohamed Morsi to step down after supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, attempted to break up the sit-in.
The culture ministry sit-in ended after Minister of Defence Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi declared on a televised speech Wednesday the ouster of Morsi and unveiled a 'road map' to move Egypt forward.
Morsi has reportedly been detained by the army. Egypt's military has also issued arrest orders against Morsi's aides and up to 300 Muslim Brotherhood members who are accused of inciting violence and disturbing general security and peace.
The cultural minister has attracted the ire of cultural figures with his sacking of high profile officials. Since his appointment in May, Culture Minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz has sacked, among others, Cairo Opera House head Enas Abdel-Dayem, Egyptian General Book Authority head Ahmed Mujahid, Fine Arts Sector head Salah El-Meligy and National Library and Archives head Abdel-Nasser Hassan.
According to Maha Effat, one of the sit-in activists and head of the relations with media, "artists will prepare a 'bayan' that will be announced late Thursday. Their sit-in ends. They will leave the culture ministry after the announcement."
Many artists and intellectuals accused the culture minister of attempting to impose an Islamist agenda that would quash the diversity of Egyptian culture.