On the Giza Corniche, the boardwalk that lines the Nile, stands the lavish, white villa of the Ahmed Shawqi museum, adorned with a small garden, ready for its official opening on Tuesday.
After almost a year-long restoration process, including installing high-tech security cameras and TV circuit, the museum is rejuvenated and ready to welcome guests.
Salah El-Meligi head of the Fine Art Department said the museum's inauguration coincides with the day Shawqi gained the title 'The Prince of Poets" on 29 April, 1927. The dean continued the story, saying the villa was poorly preserved and the building had cracks.
The museum is named after the late renowned Egyptian poet, Ahmed Shawqi. In 1924, after his return to Egypt from exile Shawqi built this residence overlooking the Giza Nile and called it Karma Ibn Hani’a, after his original home in Matariya area before being exiled. Shawqi affectionately named it after one of his favourite poets who wrote under the pen name Abu Nawwas.
In June 1977, the house was transformed into a museum, displaying a collection of Shawqi’s furniture, personal belongings, poems and notes.
The museum's garden has a bronze statue carved by late Egyptian sculpture, Gamal El-Seguini of Shawqi sitting as a new poem flows through his mind. The statue was erected in the garden marking the 50th anniversary of Shawqi’s death.
The building itself, which is composed of two levels, includes the suite of the late well-known Egyptian singer, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, on the ground floor. It houses Shawqi’s library, displaying 332 books and handwritten drafts of his some of his poems.
A music library is also available holding recordings of Abdel Wahab’s rehearsal with Shawqi.
The second floor shows his bedroom and his wife’s bedroom furnished with elegant, early 20th century furniture. A room displays photographs of his family and more than 713 of Shawqi's draft poems.
The inauguration ceremony will be attended by Minister of Culture Shaker Abdel Hamid, El-Meligi and Ahmed Abdel-Fatah. head of the Museums' General Administration at the ministry of state for antiquities.