A book on the history of the building that is the seat of the Italian Embassy in Cairo, richly illustrated with an extensive set of photographs, printed by the Stabilimenti Tipografici Carlo Colombo of Rome in Italian and Arabic (but an English version is expected next month). The book was presented in the Egyptian capital by Ambassador Giampaolo Cantini in the last public event of his mandate before his replacement by Ambassador Michele Quaroni.
The book, curated by Gaetano Cortese, illustrates not only the history of the building, designed by architect Florestano Di Fausto, a consultant of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and completed in 1930 but also that of "Italian-Egyptian relations in the modern era" and "the Italian community" which, over two centuries", "has contributed effectively to the construction of the Egyptian state and civil society", Ambassador Cantini stressed. In terms of architecture, Di Fausto's project "is a search for a style representative of the Italian national proposal", identified in the "late Renaissance style of some prestigious palaces" in Rome, noted the director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo, Davide Scalmani, presenting the volume.
However, the building's "long façade" is a sort of "homage to the landscape" of the Nile along which it stands, noted Scalmani. He recalled that Di Fausto was one of the "founding fathers of our Constitution" and "one of the main architects of Article 9" of the constitutional text, which states that "The Republic promotes the development of culture" and "protects the landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the nation". "Values architecturally represented in the Italian Embassy in Cairo," Scalmani concluded.