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Saturday, 15 May 2021

20th century courthouse in Alexandria makes Egypt's antiquities list

As one of the newest additions to the antiquities list, the distinguished early 20th century courthouse will receive at least $6.8m in maintenance and will host a museum-like display of its period objects

Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 14 May 2011
the court foundation stone

The distinguished Court of First Instance courthouse in downtown Mahatet Raml, Alexandria made Egypt’s Antiquities list. Accordingly, it will be subject to restoration. 

The court building was inaugurated in 1937 by King Farouq as a court complex for the Mixed Courts at the time. The two-story building houses various first instance courtrooms, a library and a basement, which is used as a prison for criminals and suspects.

The Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, Zahi Hawass and Minister of Justice Mohamed Abdel Aziz el Gendy embarked on an inspection tour today of the courthouse.

Hawass concluded that the building is suffering serious decay. Its foundation is highly impacted by subterranean water and cracks are spread all over its walls. He noted it is impossible to pump the whole building at once, so it will have to be done in phases. The first maintenance phase alone is expected to cost LE 40 million (roughly $6.8m).

Gamal Mostafa, director of Islamic antiquities said that the restoration work will reduce the level of subterranean water beneath the building by pumping it out and that they will also restore the cracked walls.

Mostafa told Ahram Online that the inside hall will display the artefacts found in the building. Among them are an 18th century painting as well as a collection of 19th century paintings featuring the rise of Christianity. A bronze statue of Kedive Abbas Helmy is also among the collection found, along with two coloured clay reliefs with “Justice is the base for governance,” written on them.

Of course, a collection of early 20th century court verdicts will also be on display, which will be restored by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

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