Top 5 famous stories of Egypt’s sculptures within Cairo thoroughfares



Wed, 25 Jul 2018 - 11:46 GMT


Wed, 25 Jul 2018 - 11:46 GMT

A depiction of the Massacre of Mamelukes at citadel – CC via Wikimedia

A depiction of the Massacre of Mamelukes at citadel – CC via Wikimedia

CAIRO - 25 July 2018: Cairo thoroughfares contain around 26 stunning statues and sculptures commemorating Egyptian role models. Egypt’s authorities had established such statues not only to decorate Egypt’s governorates, but also to appreciate and commemorate these figures' roles in Egypt's history.

Here is a list of historical statues that you can see in Cairo governorate:

1 - Ibrahim Pasha:

Ibrahim pasha
The statue of Ibrahim Pasha on his horse at the Opera Square in CAIRO, Egypt on August 29, 2013 - CC via Wikimedia

The statue of Ibrahim pasha is located in the opera square. In 1872, khedive Ismail entrusted Charles Coedier -French sculptor- to build a statue for his father Ibrahim Pasha. Charels Coedier also painted two plates, describing the battles between Egypt and Turkey. However, Turkey intervened and refused to show these plates, as they represented their defeat against Egypt, hence, Coedier traveled to France with the two paintings.

In 1948, at the 100th death anniversary of Ibrahim pasha, the Egyptian authority tried to restore these paintings but failed. Therefore, the two Egyptian sculptors Ahmed Othman and Mansour Farg created two identical paintings and placed them on both sides of the statue.

In 1841, Ibrahim’s son Khedive Ismail took power after the wife of Soliman Pasha al-Faransawi poisoned Ibrahim Pasha.

In 1789, Ibrahim pasha was born in Greece. When Mohamed Ali took over the rule of Egypt, he summoned Ibrahim from Istanbul. During the period 1816-1819 Ibrahim succeeded in suppressing Wahhabi rebels.

In 1925, the statue of Ibrahim Pasha had been moved from El-Attaba square to Opera Square after July 23 revolution. The Opera Square was built during Khedive Ismail's era and its name was changed several times; it was known as Teatro Square, Opera Square, and then Ibrahim Pasha Square.

2- Talaat Harb statue:

Talaat Harb statue-CC via Wikimedia

Talaat Harb Square was initially named Soliman Pasha Square- a French commander in the Egyptian army during Mohamed Ali era. In 1954, Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser gave it the name Talaat Harb Square and transferred the statue of Soliman Pasha to the Military Museum.

In 1867, Mohamed Talaat Mohamed Harb was born in El-Gamalia, Cairo governorate. In early 1900s, Harb became a pioneer in the economy field; he played a huge role in reforming the Egyptian economy, detaching it from any colonial investments.

Talaat Harb established Banque Misr in 1920 with the concept of investing in national savings and directing them towards economic and social development. Therefore, he established Banque Misr, which became the first bank to be wholly owned by Egyptians.
The statue of Talaat Harb was sculptured by Fathy Mahmoud who was born in 1918 and graduated from the Faculty of Applied Arts, Cairo University.

3- Saad Zaaghloul statue:

Saad Pasha Zaghloul statue, Alexandria, December 13, 2006 –CC via Wikimedia

The statue of Saad Zaghloul is located on Qasr El-Nile Bridge. In 1860, Zaghloul was born in Kafr el-Sheikh; he was considered one of the leaders of the 1919 revolution.

In 1924, Saad Zaghloul became prime minster after the Wafd Party won 90 percent of the Parliament seats. He was arrested several times for fomenting protests against the British occupation and he was exiled to Malta in March 1919.

In 1928, the Egyptian government entrusted sculptor Mahmoud Mokhtar to sculpt a statue for Saad Zaghloul in front of Cairo’s Opera House.

4- Lazoghly Statue:

Lazoghly Statue – CC via Wikimedia

Lazoghy statue lies at the intersection of Magles El- Ommah Street, Dawawin Street and khairat Street. In 1872, Egyptian authorities, during Mohamed Ali era, decided to erect statues of the most famous Egyptian dignitaries to commemorate their efforts, and one of these dignitaries was Lazoghly Pasha.

His real name is Mohamed Laz while the word Oghly means son. Some stories said that Lazoghly was the mastermind behind the famous massacre against Mamluks in the Citadel of Mohamed Ali.

Because lazoghy wasn’t interested in glorifying his name and achievements, the French sculptor Jack Mar couldn’t find any picture of him. Therefore, the sculptor asked one of Lazoghli’s friends to find a person who looked exactly like him; they found a man who was working in transporting water “Saqqa” to sculpture Lazoghy Pasha Statue.

In late 1800s, Lazoghly pasha came to Egypt and occupied several state positions during Mohamed Ali’s era such as the minister of finance, minster of defense and finally as prime minster for around 15 years.

5 - Mostafa Kamel statue:

Mostafa Kamel statue, January 11, 2013 – CC via Wikimedia

The statue of Mostafa Kamel is located in Cairo's downtown. His statue was erected after his death in Europe -before the Second World War¬- by Leopold Savine, a French visual artist.

In August 1874, Mostafa Kamel was born in Cairo. Kamel was a prominent Egyptian figure, as he fought for Egypt's independence against the British occupation. Kamel was the son of an Egyptian army officer, and he studied law in Cairo University and in the University of Toulouse in France.

Even though he lived only 34 years, he left great marks in Egypt’s history. In 1900, Kamel founded Al-Liwa newspaper . He also revived the national liberation movement which had been suspended after the failure of the Urabi revolution, and British invasion of Egypt in 1882.

Kamel’s name is associated with the famous Dunshuay incident in 1906, when four Egyptian peasants were hanged by the British. He led a strong campaign worldwide against the atrocities of the British occupying forces. This campaign prompted many international figures to support the Egyptians' right to independence and also earned Kamel the love of all Egyptians.

One of his famous quotes was: “Had I not been an Egyptian, I would have wished to be Egyptian.”

In December 1907, Khedive Abbas II helped him to establish the National Party to counter the Ummah Party which was supported by the British, but Kamel died after a few months of the establishment of the National Party. His funeral was the occasion for a massive demonstration of popular grief.



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