Events in the Maq’ad of Sultan Qaitbey  cultural hub

Monumental Sculpture by Omar Toussoun

23 May 2020

In May 2020, which coincided with the end of Ramadan, the Egyptian artist Omar Toussoun created a monumental stone sculpture Keyhole that was mounted in the small square between the mosque/madrassa of Sultan Qaitbey and the oratory of al-Gulshani on 23 May 2020. By using mediaeval Islamic forms borrowed directly from the architecture of the neighbourhood, the piece reinterprets the motif of a keyhole – an inconspicuous feature that is nevertheless necessary for opening any door, either real or metaphorical—that consistently appears in the sculptor’s art.

The setting up of the sculpture, which consists of three limestone pieces each weighing in tonnes was a challenging task, but the result is imposing, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the magnificent mosque/madrasa of Sultan Qaitbey built in 1474.

​Due to Coronavirus precautions, the public unveiling of the sculpture was postponed until September.

​The enterprise was part of the project Heritage for the Living  in the ‘City of the Dead’ carried out by ARCHiNOS with funding primarily from the European Union, and was co-sponsored by the Drosos Foundation.

Project funded by the European Union