Bank of Alexandria building registered on Egypt's Islamic Heritage List

Nevine El-Aref , Thursday 1 Aug 2013

Palace of French architect Baron De Gillian in downtown Cairo, now Bank of Alexandria, is added to Egypt’s Islamic Heritage List

Bank of Alexandria

The presidential palace of French architect Baron De Gillian in downtown Cairo was officially registered on Egypt’s Islamic Heritage List on Thursday following almost two decades of court cases.

The controversy started in 1995 when the antiquities ministry listed the De Gillian building on Egypt’s Heritage List as an Islamic monument. The palace is located on one of the Bank of Alexandria's premises. The bank refused to relinquish ownership of the property. Instead, it filed a lawsuit against the ministry and requested LE140 million in compensation.

The Supreme Administrative Court issued on Thursday its last verdict stipulating that the palace is to remain on Egypt's heritage list as one of its monuments. The ruling also rejected the requested compensation by the bank.

According to the director of Historic Cairo Mohamed Abdel Aziz, the historical building was originally built by French architect Baron De Gillian who was known by Leo-Paul II. He was a lover of Occidental monuments and travelled all over the globe until he died in 1899 at the age of 56.

The palace is located on Mohamed Farid Street in downtown Cairo. The building includes three floors with two façades, a large reception on the first floor, and several halls and rooms on the two other floors.

The presidential palace was built more than 100 years ago. It has a very distinguished Islamic architecture façade and its inner rooms are decorated with European designs, motifs and natural scenes depicting different places all over the world.

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