Egyptian culture minister will search for culprit of deadly fire at Beni Suef theatre

Ahram Online, Tuesday 6 Sep 2011

The minister has agreed to search for the culprit, after mourners gathered on the sixth anniversary of the mysterious fire at the cultural palace in Beni Suef, demanding re-investigation

Abu Ghazi

In a statement on the ministry’s official website, Minister of Culture Emad Abu Ghazi ordered the re-opening of the investigation into the fire, including who started it and how, at the theatre of the Palace of Culture in Beni Suef six years ago. 

The mystery that still shrouds the fire prompted demonstrations yesterday, Monday 5 September, in front of the Supreme Council of Culture. Protesters, including playwrights, activists, families and friends of the victims came to commemorate the tragedy at the site. They also insisted on proper justice for the fire’s victims.

The date, 5 September 2011, marks the sixth anniversary of “the martyrdom of a group of the finest playwrights of Egypt who were victims of the fire at the Beni Suef Cultural Palace,” said Abu Ghazi on the ministry’s official webpage.

He also paid tribute to the victims by declaring 5 September the official Day for Egyptian Theatre.

“I have lost employees in the cultural field… some of my dearest friends and colleagues, as Egypt lost an important cultural value," Abu Ghazi stated.

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