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Around the galleriesDESPITE a complicated history and after 11 years of restoration work, the Gezira Centre for the Arts has finally opened its doors. In 1952, Amr Pasha bequeathed his palace to the Egyptian government to use as an arts centre. During the years of Sadat's presidency, the palace became the Mahmoud Khalil Museum, because the Khalil residence (which Khalil had donated to the government, together with his private collection, for conversion into a public museum) had been taken over by the presidency. In 1988, the Khalil collection moved back to its original site (the current Mahmoud Khalil Museum) and work on the Amr Pasha Palace could commence. Today, the Gezira Centre hosts a permanent collection of Islamic ceramic works gleaned from the Gezira collection (which used to be housed on what are now the Opera House grounds), the Islamic Museum and various sequestrated palaces. The centre also boasts an outdoor theatre and a centre for graphics and cinema.
Safar Khan Gallery is hosting a posthumous retrospective of over 40 works -- bronze sculptures, brass bas reliefs, paintings and sketches -- by Gamal El-Segeini. El-Segeini's style is distinctive, incorporating stylised folkloric elements into at once hieratic and dynamic compositions dealing with social issues, often in a "narrative" mode.
Reviewed by Nagwa El-Ashri