After Struggling to Reopen, Townhouse Gallery Site Collapses

The cause of the collapse is still uncertain.

Townhouse Gallery.Photo: Courtesy of Facebook.
Townhouse Gallery.
Photo: Courtesy of Facebook.

After months of struggling to re-open following a prolonged fight with the state government’s censorship bureau, Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery experienced another significant setback. A section of the gallery’s main building on 10 Nabrawy Street collapsed on April 6.

Luckily, according to the Art Newspaper, no one was injured, but “the recently renovated Townhouse Library, the first-floor gallery extension, and some administrative offices” have been destroyed. Located in downtown Cairo, the building has housed the gallery since 1998. The recently renovated second-floor library contained a number of arts-related publications dedicated to Egyptian art history, monographs on Egyptian artists, and catalogs of artists from the Middle East.

No official announcement regarding the cause of the collapse has been issued. In a statement on their Facebook page, the gallery stated that they will join the building’s owner, along with engineers and other tenants, in efforts to “secure the safety and potential future of the building itself.”

The Townhouse Gallery's Factory Space.<br>Photo: Courtesy of the Townhouse Gallery.

The Townhouse Gallery’s Factory Space.
Photo: Courtesy of the Townhouse Gallery.

In the interim, the gallery’s staff members will resume operation starting Sunday, April 10 at the Factory Space. According to the gallery’s website, the space is a converted, 7,000 square-foot former paper factory that is used to host shows, dance performances, film screenings, concerts, and other events.

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