His name is Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil, he was born in 1877 and died in 1953. He held the position of Minister of Agriculture in 1937 and then President of the Senate in 1939. However, what made him widely known and immortalized his name until today is his pivotal and prominent role in the Egyptian cultural scene, where he recommended the transformation of his palace, which was It includes hundreds of international paintings, to a museum, which is known today as the Muhammad Mahmoud Khalil Museum and its campus.
The story of the museum begins when Mahmoud Khalil traveled to Paris to study law at the Sorbonne in 1897. There he met a simple girl named Emily Hector who studies music and shares his same hobbies as collecting artworks. He fell in love with her and married her in 1903, and when he returned with her to Egypt, he built She had a beautiful palace on the banks of the Nile in 1918. He lived with her between Egypt and France, collecting artworks for their home in Egypt.
The palace is located in the Dokki district of Giza, overlooking the Nile from the eastern side and Giza Street from the west. It was built in the French architectural style and consists of two floors, surrounded by a large garden covered with greenery, and in the middle of it a number of French-style lighting poles.
Today, the museum is considered one of the most important museums in Egypt and the Middle East as a whole, because it contains paintings by major international painters such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Cammy Pissarro, and many others. Mahmoud Khalil and his wife had a fondness for the works of French plastic artists belonging to the influential school in particular.
The palace was opened as a museum in 1995 after restorations that lasted for nearly 6 years, since 1989. The number of artworks it now houses 876 works, including paintings, statues, vases and antique sculptures. It also includes the “One Horizon for Changing Shows” hall, which is one of the largest specialized halls in the Middle East with an area of 340 meters dedicated to Egyptian and Arab art exhibitions.
Entry to the museum
The museum offers free admission to the elderly, children under 15 and people with special needs. The price of an entry ticket for students of all academic levels is only 10 pounds ($0.54). As for young people who are not students or the aforementioned categories, the ticket price is 30 pounds ($1.62). It is worth noting that the museum currently requires a certificate of obtaining the new Corona virus vaccine in order to enter.
After passing the entrance gate, the visitor finds himself in front of a classic architectural masterpiece from the inside as well as from the outside. The interior of the palace is painted white, and the high ceilings are decorated with white gilded stucco carvings. The visitor also finds himself, after passing the entrance, in front of a white marble staircase covered with antique red carpets.
Next to the stairs, before going up, there is a brown grand piano that was played by Mahmoud Khalil’s wife, Amelie, the French who studied music. The piano is located under a giant chandelier that hangs from the ceiling of the second floor and passes through the floors of the palace on the empty horizon between the floors and the marble staircase. If the visitor passes through the hall, he finds himself in front of another hall, larger in size, containing vases and statues from the classical eras and early ancient Egyptian newspapers, framed in wooden frames.
Every corner of this hall, as in all the palace halls, is decorated with blue antique Japanese jars. As for the wall, it is decorated with a large hand-woven carpet from the Rococo period from the 18th century. Returning to the main door, the visitor, as soon as he climbs the stairs, finds himself in front of 4 rooms decorated with 10 or more paintings each.
The paintings are dominated by the impressionist doctrine, and the rooms include a large number of paintings belonging to all schools of plastic art. There are also statues of marble and basalt made by major international sculptors. The number of statues is 50, and beside each statue, painting or any other masterpiece, there is evidence of the artist’s name, the era in which the work was made and its specifications.
Poppy flower and water lily
The name of the museum was associated with the name of Van Gogh in the late era of the late President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, when the painting of the poppy flower, worth millions of dollars, was stolen. Interpol has been investigating the incident for more than 10 years, to no avail. The painting has disappeared without a trace, but visitors can enjoy dozens of paintings dealing with nature, flowers and farmers.
Mahmoud Khalil and his wife dedicate entire rooms in the museum to paintings of flowers painted in the effectual style. The museum has a number of paintings of the international series “Water Lilies” by the pioneer of the Impressionist school, the French painter Claude Monet, who said, “I owe to the flowers that I became a painter.”