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Mahmoud Khalil Museum

The Mahmoud Khalil Museum is one of the most interesting and remarkable art museums in Egypt. Together with the modern art museum in the Opera House, the Mahmoud Mukhtar Museum, and the Gezira art center, Mahmoud Khalil Museum is notable because of the unique selection of artworks that it hosts. The museum is located in Cairo. 

 

Another reason that the Mahmoud Khalil Museum is well-known is because of the building itself, the Villa of Mahmoud Khalil which he built his wife built in 1915. The Eastern side of the villa was constructed facing the Nile in Giza. It was built in the "Arnovo" style that is clear in the metal and glass work that decorate this side of the house. The western side of the villa was built in the "new classical style" that gave the villa the chance to have different styles of decorations that synchronize together in an amazing harmony.

 

Mahmoud Khalil museum

 

A huge colored window dominates the northern side of the Mahmoud Khalil Museum. It displays a wonderful painting that visitors can view from the first and second floor of the museum. This window was painted by the French artist Lucien Matte in 1907. The house remained as a residence of Mahmoud Khalil and his family until 1960 when the house, at his request, was transformed into a museum. It displays a lot of his artworks and many other works of art from many local and international artists.

 

Mahmoud Khalil

 

The Mahmoud Khalil Museumwas was forgotten by most Egyptians and tourists, except for some art fans who come and visit the museum every now and then. Suddenly, however, the museum attracted huge attention but this time was not because the works of the art that it hosts, it was because of the weird and mysterious disappearance of the Poppy Flower, a famous painting by Vincent van Gogh.

 

Mahmoud Khalil museum

 

The Disappearance Of "Poppy Flower"

 

The famous painting of "poppy flower" or the "Vase and flowers" was painted by Van Gogh in 1887, three years before his suicide. It is a medium-sized painting measuring 54 X 53 cm. it was painted with oil colors on a piece of cloth and it contains the drawing of yellow and red poppy flowers placed in a beautiful vase. The price of this painting is estimated to be around $55 million US dollars.

 

Mahmoud Khalil museum

 

This famous painting disappeared mysteriously from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum on August 23, 2010. A state of emergency was declared in all the Egyptian airports and art outlets. The Egyptian minister of culture, Farouq Hosny, announced in a press conference that was held on the same day that the painting was stolen from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum.

 

The painting was eventually found. A lot of Egyptian government officials were captured in jail due to the theft of the painting including the head of the fine arts section in the Egyptian government, Abdel Kader Shaalan, and a lot of other government members are in the process of being investigated.

 

What is really weird is that the same plaiting, " The Poppy flower" was stolen from the same museum, Mahmoud Khalil Museum, in 1977. The painting went back to the museum once again in even a more mysterious way when it was found in Kuwait ten years later. A lot of people, therefore, claim that the painting that was kept in the museum for all this period, from 1987 till 2010, was an imitation version of the original painting that was sold in England.

 

Who Was Mahmoud Khalil?

 

Mahmoud Khalil was a great lover of art and he was also a unique collector of many precious and exceptional items. Khalil was a politician as well and he worked as a minister and member of the Egyptian parliament for a long period of his life.

 

Khalil was a major sponsor of the youth arts and was the leader of a fine arts lovers association which he participated with Al-Amir Yousef Kamal in establishing in 1924. This is in addition to his major role in the artistic and cultural exchange between Egypt and France and his efforts were crowned with getting the highest French medals and honors.

 

Mahmoud Khalil

 

Mahmoud Khalil was born in Cairo in 1877 and he traveled to France to study law in 1897. He married a French lady called Imeline Hiktor Luis in 1907. Afterward, he went back to Egypt and built his palace in 1918. He also acted as the general commissioner for the Egyptian section in the international art festival held in Paris in 1937. 

 

Khalil became the minister of agriculture in the government of Al Wafd, an opposition party right now. He became the chairman of the Egyptian parliament during the period between 1939 and 1940. The famous Egyptian artist and politician was fond of France and French culture and art, maybe that was because of his studies in Paris and perhaps he was also influenced by his French wife, Imiline. This was the reason he participated immensely in organizing a French art and decoration exhibition in Cairo in1938.

 

Mahmoud Khalil

 

Khalil was elected the reporter of the French Academy of fine arts in Cairo in 1948 and then he became a member of the academy in 1949. He supervised organizing a décor exhibition with the name " Egypt- France" in Paris in 1949. Mahmoud Khalil died in Paris on December 31, 1953.

 

The Mahmoud Khalil Museum

 

The museum of Mahmoud Khalil and his wife are full of rare paintings and artwork and it is considered an Egyptian art treasure house. The collection of Mahmoud Khalil himself is considered one of the hugest art collections of one of the most important modern art in Egypt and the Middle East. The ground floor and the second floor are used to display the artworks hosted by the museum, while the underground floor is used for administration and contains a library, an information center, and a discussion hall.

 

Mahmoud Khalil museum

 

Besides the paintings, there are collections of vases and gems like emerald, works of crystal, and works of lacarmen that were created by Chinese artists. There are a collection of beautiful bronze, marble, and plaster statues. There are also some Pharaonic statues that were created by modern Egyptian artists.

 

The museum hosts a lot of artwork that belong to leaders of the impressionist school of art like Dega and his painting " Toulouse-Lautrec" and the works of the French Romantic artist Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix. There are also a lot of the artworks of the orient lists like Frumentan, Preshide, and Gabriel Piesy.

 

Mahmoud Khalil museum

 

There is also a collection of rare vases made out of French "Sefeir" and some other vases created by Chinese, Turkish, and Iranian artists. There is also a selection of jewels that the Chinese artists created skillfully and made of emeralds, Krihtemal, and red coral.

 

There is also a remarkable collection of statues made by famous artists like Auguste Rodin, a famous French sculptor, who is considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, and his famous statue of the French novelist and playwright, Honoré de Balzac.

 

The Mahmoud Khalil Museum contains some works of Bari, the famous animal statue creator, Bari and some classical portraits drawn by Holden. The beautiful painting of Eugène Delacroix "The bathing nymphs". Among the most fabulous collection of artworks in the Mahmoud Khalil Museum, there are paintings and sculptures of various French artists that were dominant in the nineteenth century. This collection includes the works of Huepin, Maries Cannet, henry platoon, Gustave Moreau, and the most famous Gogan and Van Gogh.

 

The most famous paintings in the museum are "The Poppy flower" by Van Gogh, the "Windmills" by Charles Francois, and "The Jungle" by Hairirty.

 

Renovation Of The Mahmoud Khalil Museum

 

When a plan was designed to renovate the Mahmoud Khalil Museum, infrastructure was the first concern of the government in order to enable visitors to have cultural activities and organize art exhibitions in the museum.

 

A new building was added to the museum and it was constructed to the right of the entrance of the museum. It includes a cafe and an outlet to sell gifts and replicates of the works of art displayed in the museum. It also has a modern lecture hall and an exhibition hall that is considered the largest and most beautiful in Egypt. The café can serve more than fifty guests at the same time. It provides hot and cold drinks and fast food meals. The walls of the café were constructed to include a lot of glass windows to enable the guests to view the beauty of the garden and the Villa of Mahmoud Khalil.

 

Mahmoud Khalil museum

 

The exhibition hall, Ofoq, is the biggest and best-equipped exhibition hall in Egypt today. It contains the most updated technology of lighting, temperature control, and security facilities. 

 

Museum Location


View Larger Map 

 

Visitors' Information

 

Museum address:
1 Giza Street  – Next to Cairo
Sheraton  - Giza
Telephone: 33362377
Working hours:
From 10 AM till 5 PM
Tickets: 10 pounds for Egyptians.
01 pound for Egyptian students.
25 pounds for No Egyptians.

 

Cameras 


Photography is allowed without the use of the flash and the guest has to have a special camera ticket to use his camera.

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