27 April - 3 May 2000
Issue No. 479
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
Egypt Region International Economy Opinion Culture Special Features Travel Living Sports Profile People Time Out Chronicles Cartoons Letters
Mistaken identitiesSir-I refer to the front page of your 13-19 April issue showing paintings by the late Mahmoud Said, and I would like to correct some of the information contained in the caption to the right of the pictures.
The painting on the right is not of the "anonymous Nadia," but is a painting of Mahmoud Said's daughter, Nadia Mahmoud Said (my mother). The pencil sketch was not done by Mahmoud Said, but rather by his dear friend, the painter Angelopoulo, more than 20 years before his death. This sketch was given as a present to Mahmoud Said and was obviously confused with his own work. Mahmoud Said did paint four beautiful portraits of his daughter Nadia when she was a young girl, but not the one shown on your front page.
As for the Mahmoud Said museum, as you have correctly mentioned, it was bought by the Ministry of Culture around 1970 from the family for a "symbolic" amount of around LE20,000. The family also donated a large number of paintings from his private collection in the hope that the mansion would soon be turned into the Mahmoud Said museum.
The renovation of the museum and the landscaping of the garden have been exquisitely done, and polished to a degree which is rare in Egypt. In spite of all my admiration for the work on the museum, however, there can be no excuse for the fact that it has taken the Ministry of Culture almost 30 years to renovate the beautiful mansion in the Gianaclis district of Alexandria.
One also has to question the lack of planning on the ministry's part for the opening. The fact that only three of Mahmoud Said's relatives were invited to the opening leaves much to be desired.
Saad Hassan Elkhadem
Her father's daughterSir- Al-Ahram Weekly celebrated the opening of the Mahmoud Said museum by publishing on the front page of issue 477 (13-19 April) two portraits from the collection of art pieces exhibited. The right-hand portrait is described as an "unfinished portrait of the anonymous Nadia, begun during the year of his (Mahmoud Said's) death". The "anonymous" Nadia is none other than the daughter of Mahmoud Said, who is now living in Bethesda, Maryland, with her husband Professor Hassan Elkhadem. Although she was the subject of many of her father's paintings, this particular portrait was not one of his but that of his friend, Angelopoulo, the well-known Greek-Egyptian artist who lived in Alexandria at the time of its making in 1951.
The published portrait is the pencil sketch from which the artist had made an oil painting. The oil version was given to Nadia as a wedding gift in 1951 and hangs today in her home in Bethesda. The pencil sketch, which was given to her father by the artist, was kept in the files of Mahmoud Said. It is worth mentioning here that Angelopoulo left Egypt during the Suez crisis and lived in Paris where he made a great name for himself.
This information was given to me by Nadia herself when I forwarded to her a copy of the Weekly article.
Al-Ahram Weekly, apologises for the mis-attribution. The source used for information published alongside the Mahmoud Said caption was the Mahmoud Said commemorative catalogue, published by the Cultural Development Fund on 8 April 1997 and edited by painter Esmat Dawestashi. Editor
All readers' contributions and comments should be addressed to The Editor. Fax: +202 578 6089
E-mail correspondents are asked to give postal address. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.