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Italian Architectural and Artistic Heritage in Egypt


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15,0 x 21,0 cm
978-88-6433-768-5 9788864337685

Italian Architectural and Artistic Heritage in Mediterranean Countries. Documentation and Preservation.

Italian Architectural and Artistic Heritage in Egypt

Italian Architectural and Artistic Heritage in Egypt

Documentation & Safeguard

Proceedings of the First International Seminar, Cairo,
Italian Culture Institute, November 28th, 2015
Alexandria, El Horya Ibedaa Centre,
November 30th, December 1st, 2015,
edited by Milva Giacomelli, Ezio Godoli and Ulisse Tramonti

Egypt has been, in the Mediterranean area, one of the privileged destinations of the Italian architects’ emigration. Since the early nineteenth century, there were numerous political exiles: bonapartists during the years of the Restoration, Mazzinian Republicans affiliated with ‘Young Italy’, Garibaldians, Socialists, Anarchists, Irredentists of Friuli and the Venezia Giulia, the antifascists. The political character of this emigration helps us understand certain stylistic choices that have characterized the work of Italian architects in Egypt that, sympathizing with Egyptian nationalism, intended to flank it on a cultural level designing various works that relate to the local traditions of Islamic architecture. Italian architects have also constructed buildings  that, in order to satisfy the desire for novelty of the bourgeois and aristocratic clientele, reused, often late, stylistic repertoire that characterized the residential construction of European historicism. Italian contribution was fundamental due to the quantity and the quality of the realizations in characterizing the architectural face of Cairo, Alexandria and other towns of Egyptian provinces. Alongside the work of architects, it’s worth the one of the building contractors, who have played a leading role not only in the public and private construction sector, but also in the realization of major works of hydraulic engineering and of important territorial and urban infrastructures. The contributions collected in this volume, using largely unpublished materials, shed new light on the work of some of the protagonists of Italian architecture in Egypt over a period of time ranging from the nineteenth century to the beginning of World War II and in various building sectors from conservation and restoration of Islamic monuments, to the residential, public and religious buildings and the great engineering works. Particular attention is also paid to decorative arts and to the art industries founded by Italians. The contributions from Egyptian authors account for some initiatives taken in order to safeguard, restore, and enhance this heritage, that is certainly one of the most important “shared heritage” of the Mediterranean area.

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