As part of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities' plan to complete several archaeological projects in preparation for opening them, the ministry began the restoration of El-Sakakini Pasha Palace, to open it for visitors in 2020.
A group of distinguished restorers were assigned to work on the palace as well as various other archeological sites.
El-Sakakini Pasha Palace was built 119 years ago. It was owned, as the name implies, by El-Sakakini Pasha who passed away in 1923. One of Sakakini’s heirs, a doctor who worked in the palace, gifted the palace to the Egyptian Ministry of Health.
In 1961, the Health Education Museum was moved from Abdeen to the Sakakini Palace. Then, the museum was moved from the palace, and eventually was placed under the control of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The palace houses a collection of unique artifacts, in addition to the Dorrat el-Tag statue and the remains of a unique crocodile statue. The palace is decorated with figures of girls and children, whose original color has faded away, in addition to statues made of marble.
Sakakini Palace contains more than fifty rooms and five floors. The palace has more than 400 windows and doors and 300 statues, including a half-statue of Habib Pasha El-Sakakini at the top of the main entrance to the palace.
El-Sakakini Pasha Palace in Cairo, Egypt - ET
The palace also contains a basement, and its pillars are surrounded by four towers, each of which is crowned by a small dome.
The basement is six degrees below the ground and has three spacious halls, four living rooms, four toilets, two rooms. It has no special decorations as it was designated for servants and kitchens.
On what is being done in the palace, Waed Abul-Ela, head of the Projects Sector at the Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities, said in press statements that restoration works are currently taking place in the palace using the latest scientific materials and methods.
Abul-Ela further stated that construction work is carried out in the Sakakini Palace, but slowly due to the nature of the palace and the accuracy of the work.
According to Abul-Ela, the palace is scheduled to officially open in 2020.
Furthermore, Mahmoud Abdel-Baset, director of the Historic Cairo Development Project, said that examining the studies submitted by the Consultative Office for the Restoration of Sakakini Palace is also currently underway.
New files are added regarding the re-employment of the palace according to its construction nature. The studies tackle architectural and structural aspects, careful restoration, and the re-employment of the building.
“After studying and examining the submitted proposals, the 119-year-old El-Sakakini Palace will be assigned to a company, under the supervision of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities,” Said Abdel-Baset.