Baron Palace – Wikimedia Commons/Hoba Offendum
CAIRO – 3 June 2019: The Egyptian Cabinet denied recent rumors about its alleged intention to sell the Baron Empain Palace, and also the government's "failure" to face locusts in Luxor and Aswan.
In July 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi warned against false news clarifying that more than 21,000 rumors have been propagated over a period of three months. The president also asked the citizens to be cautious of calls that inherently aim at the collapse of the Egyptian state.
The Cabinet's Media Center said it contacted the Ministry of Antiquities which denied the news about putting the 108-year old Indian-inspired mansion or any other archaeological buildings.
The media center affirmed keenness of the Egyptian state to preserve all its ancient monuments and cultural heritage, stressing that all rumors about this matter aim at stirring confusion and anger of the public.
The ministry also noted it has adopted a plan supervised by a group of archaeologists at a cost of LE 100 million, adding that the plan is set to be completed within the next six months.
Khaled al-Anani, the minister of antiquities, reviewed earlier updates of the projects implemented by the ministry including upgrading the Giza Plateau, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, and Baron Empain Palace in Cairo’s Heliopolis, during a meeting with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
He also reviewed the efforts to upgrade a number of museums nationwide including Mohamed Ali Palace in Shubra, the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria, and museums in Kafr al-Sheikh and Tanta.
Moreover, the Ministry of Agriculture denied rumors about the government's failure to address the locust swarms that attacked the southern border of the country, especially Luxor and Aswan, the Cabinet's Media Center said.
The Agriculture Ministry said that the very limited gatherings of locusts on the southern border were controlled immediately.
The ministry also confirmed its full readiness to deal with any locust attack that may take place at any region in the country.
In February, Egypt announced maintaining the highest level of readiness in the border areas, especially on the Red Sea coasts, with over 50 control bases, following international warnings about a probable locust attack on the country.
A locust outbreak in Sudan and Eritrea is spreading rapidly along both sides of the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said, flagging a possible threat to crops and food security.
Head of Egyptian Agriculture Ministry's Central Department for Pest Control Mamdouh al-Sebae told Erem News that the concerned authorities are ready to bring the locust situation under control, as swarms are expected to head to Egypt in case both Saudi Arabia and Sudan manage to resist them.
The swarms are capable of destroying agricultural crops in record time, Sebae said.