Sabil-Kuttab of Sultan Mustafa III, Cairo

The building, of a type unique to Cairo, originally housed charities offering drinking water and elementary education for free. It was founded in 1760 by the Ottoman Sultan Mustafa III opposite the venerated mosque that contains the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad”s granddaughter. Its exceptionally well-preserved decoration blends together the local tradition of Cairo, the then-fashionable Turkish style from Istanbul, and hundreds of Dutch wall-tiles painted in scenes of everyday life in Holland. The comprehensive architectural conservation included treatment of various fabrics by fine arts conservators, and adaptive re-use of the building for a permanent exhibition, as well as for use by a charitable organization. The team drew on past experience in conserving similar buildings.

A book presenting the history of the exceptional monument and its founder was published in result of the project. The project was affiliated to the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo, and funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Cairo.

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2008 – 2009. Sayeda Zeinab Square, Cairo.

Project Director and designer of the exhibition:

Agnieszka Dobrowolska

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