CAIRO: The headquarters of Egypt’s former ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), badly damaged when it was set ablaze during the January 25 Revolution, will be demolished within a month, sources in the Cairo governorate said Saturday.
“The official permits to demolish the building were issued by the west Cairo municipality while the Egyptian Armed Forces’ Engineering Authority has been tasked with the demolition expected to be completed within 30 days of delivery,” deputy governor for West Cairo Mohamed Ayman Abdel Tawab told Al-Ahram Thursday.
He added that the governmental Standing Committee, formed to protect Egypt’s buildings of architectural heritage, has examined the burnt building before it, by consensus, said that “keeping the building in its current condition is pointless.”
The NDP headquarters was set ablaze Jan. 28 2011, the “Friday of Anger,” a day that witnessed mass protests demanding the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak. On that day, prisons were opened, and prisoners escaped en masse before police were withdrawn from the streets, and the military was deployed.
On March 28, the Cabinet decided to demolish the building and annex its land to that of the adjoining garden and buildings of the Egyptian Museum, according to the State Information Service (SIS.)
According to Tawab, the committee said that “the fire caused a failure in the structural concrete of the building; thus it represents a serious threat as it might collapse at anytime.”
The assets of the NDP were seized over by the government after it was dissolved by a court ruling in April 2011.
Soheir Hawaas, head of the central department for studies at the National Organization for Urban Harmony, told Al Masry Al Youm that “the destruction of the building will result in losing part of the country’s history.”
Hawaas, who was a member of a committee that examined the building in May 2011, asserted that “the concrete structure of the building is in a good condition and the fire did not affect its foundation.”
Dating back to the 1930s, the building is on Egypt’s list of cultural heritage buildings thus “its demolition is a blatant violation to the Law no. 144 of 2006, that is applied to any building significant to Egyptian history, reflecting human, artistic, technical, military, or religious aspects,” according to Hawaas.
The building is located with the range of Khedival Cairo, which extends from Abdeen Square through Tahrir Square and Ramses Square, all the way to Attaba.