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03:51

Egypt: Baron Empain Palace with its Hindi motifs and rumours of Satanic rituals restored to grandeur

Egypt, Heliopolis
August 18, 2019 at 16:35 GMT +00:00 · Published

Footage filmed on Sunday shows the ongoing restoration works of the Baron Empain Palace in the Egyptian suburb of Heliopolis near Cairo.

The Arab Contractors Company, commissioned by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the Engineering Corps of the Armed Forces, began the restoration of the palace in 2017.

According to the Ministry of Antiquities, the restoration works are nearing their completion. About 90 percent of the renovation has reportedly been completed, including the structural consolidation of the roofs and the restoration of the facades' decorative elements.

The project reportedly cost 100 million Egyptian pounds ($6 million/€5.4 million). The palace is expected to be open to the public in November 2019.

The Baron Empain Palace was built by Belgian industrialist Baron Edouard Empain in 1911. The palace is considered to be an architectural masterpiece, which features Hindu motifs.

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, noted the distinctive Indian-inspired architecture of the palace, which he said is "quite evident in the palace's exterior and interior."

Waziri also denied reports about the changing of the character of the palace during the ongoing restoration works, noting that his team was able to bring back the "original colour" of the building, which he said "was obliterated by a layer of dirt."

Basma Selim, who leads the restoration works at the palace, also spoke about reports of the so-called 'satanic' rituals held in the previously deserted building. She said, "1997, 1998 saw the phenomenon of 'Satanists' here, who practiced their rituals inside the palace and left behind traces everywhere. They wrote in black and drew skulls and swastika."

03:51
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Description

Footage filmed on Sunday shows the ongoing restoration works of the Baron Empain Palace in the Egyptian suburb of Heliopolis near Cairo.

The Arab Contractors Company, commissioned by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the Engineering Corps of the Armed Forces, began the restoration of the palace in 2017.

According to the Ministry of Antiquities, the restoration works are nearing their completion. About 90 percent of the renovation has reportedly been completed, including the structural consolidation of the roofs and the restoration of the facades' decorative elements.

The project reportedly cost 100 million Egyptian pounds ($6 million/€5.4 million). The palace is expected to be open to the public in November 2019.

The Baron Empain Palace was built by Belgian industrialist Baron Edouard Empain in 1911. The palace is considered to be an architectural masterpiece, which features Hindu motifs.

Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Mostafa Waziri, noted the distinctive Indian-inspired architecture of the palace, which he said is "quite evident in the palace's exterior and interior."

Waziri also denied reports about the changing of the character of the palace during the ongoing restoration works, noting that his team was able to bring back the "original colour" of the building, which he said "was obliterated by a layer of dirt."

Basma Selim, who leads the restoration works at the palace, also spoke about reports of the so-called 'satanic' rituals held in the previously deserted building. She said, "1997, 1998 saw the phenomenon of 'Satanists' here, who practiced their rituals inside the palace and left behind traces everywhere. They wrote in black and drew skulls and swastika."

W/S Exterior of Baron Empain Palace, Heliopolis

W/S Exterior of Baron Empain Palace

M/S Exterior of Baron Empain Palace

M/S Baron Empain Palace

C/U Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

C/U Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

C/U Indian-inspired architecture

W/S Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

C/U Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

C/U Indian-inspired architecture

SOT, Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of Supreme Council of Antiquities (Arabic): "The construction of this palace began in 1904, which took four years to build. The designer of the palace was influenced by the Indian architecture due to his stay in India for a long time, and this is quite evident in the palace's exterior and interior. There's also an influence by the Islamic architecture."

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

C/U Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

SOT, Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of Supreme Council of Antiquities (Arabic): "The French document says that the original colour of the palace was that of 'brick', but as a result of neglect from 1911 to 2017, the erosion and dirt in the atmosphere, the original colour was obliterated by a layer of dirt. The Egyptian restoration team began to remove the erosion and dirt. The original colour emerged, and it was that of 'brick'."

W/S Interior of Baron Empain Palace

M/S Picture of palace interior before restoration works and un-restored segment left behind for comparison

C/U Picture of palace interior before restoration works

SOT, Basma Selim, Head of restoration team (Arabic): "We were able to bring back the original colour of the Buddha god, which sits on the crown of the two pillars to the right and left of the door, by cleaning."

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

C/U Indian-inspired architecture

SOT, Basma Selim, Member of restoration team (Arabic): "The years 1997, 1998 saw the phenomenon of 'Satanists' here, who practiced their rituals inside the palace and left behind traces everywhere. They wrote in black and drew skulls and swastika."

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

C/U Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Figure; restoration works

C/U Figure

W/S Restoration works

W/S Restoration works

M/S Restoration works

M/S Restoration works

C/U Restoration works

M/S Restoration works

C/U Indian-inspired architecture

C/U Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

M/S Indian-inspired architecture

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