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Workers at the Suez Canal Authority found a bronze bust of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the owner of the decision to nationalize the canal, in the warehouses of the historic building of the Suez Canal Authority in Port Said.
The workers accidentally found the statue while vacating the monumental building, in preparation for its restoration, and the date of 1963 is written on it.
A source in the Suez Canal Authority said that the statue was transported on a semi-transport vehicle from the Authority’s building on the west bank of the canal in Port Said to the Suez Canal Authority’s arsenal workshops in Port Fouad on the east bank of the canal, for restoration and repair so that it can be placed in the Authority’s museum at the intersection of the Bazaar and Safia Zaghloul streets (Eugenie) in Port Said,
The sources of the Suez Canal Authority did not explain the presence of the statue in the stores of the Authority for 57 years throughout the life of Gamal Abdel Nasser and after his death.
Dr. Ahmed El-Sawy, a professor of Islamic antiquities at Cairo University, said that the statue has artistic value and is often a work of the late great example, Jamal Al-Sajini.
Al-Sawy called on the Minister of Culture to intervene and assign artists specialized in restoration work to take over the statue in order to preserve its artistic value.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Ali Ahmed, former head of the Suez Canal Authority Syndicate, and among the first generation of Egyptian employees who replaced foreigners after the restoration, said that throughout his work in the Suez Canal Authority he had not witnessed or heard about the presence of a statue of Gamal Abdel Nasser in the Authority’s building in Port Said, confirming that President Gamal Abdel Nasser was visiting Port Said annually during the celebrations of Victory Day on December 23, and among the celebrations was a visit to the Authority’s building and the inauguration of new ships and trains, but he did not, on any visit, raise the curtain on any statue of him.
Muhammad Ali Ahmed suggested that one of the authority’s leaders had issued a decision to make the statue and before its installation, this potential official left the work for some reason, which led to putting the statue in warehouses and forgetting it throughout these years.
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