• Short Summary

    When the Suez Canal was opened on 17th November, 1869 the Egyptians, in addition to making lavish plans for entertainments and festivities had built (with French aid) an Opera House, for which Verdi was commissioned to write an opera (Aida which was not in fact ready on time) and the Omar Khayyam Palace on the banks of the Nile where the Empress Eugenie and her Retinue were to stay whilst in Cairo.

  • Description

    When the Suez Canal was opened on 17th November, 1869 the Egyptians, in addition to making lavish plans for entertainments and festivities had built (with French aid) an Opera House, for which Verdi was commissioned to write an opera (Aida which was not in fact ready on time) and the Omar Khayyam Palace on the banks of the Nile where the Empress Eugenie and her Retinue were to stay whilst in Cairo. Both Palace and Opera House were built after the French style as the British had been opposed from the beginning to the Canal as it would encourage French intervention in the near East and also the Canal could become a Political trouble area and even war zone (which has of course been the case). The Palace furniture was made in the Louis XIV and Louis XV styles. Great carpets were brought from Persia and France and Crystal Chandeliers were brought in. The Grand staircase has bannister of inlaid marble. The Khedive Ismail was well known for his lavish spending in Cairo which in fact lead in the end to his bankruptcy and his being deprived of his position, being succeeded in fact by his son Tewfik. Today, the Canal is closed to all shipping, the Opera House has burned down and the only operational memory of that time is the Omar Khayyam Hotel. It has been very slightly changed by time, some of the great clocks do not work, the carpets are slowly beginning to show signs of wear and the Empress Eugenie's chamber has had most of the original furnishings moved to a nearby Salon. However the rooms are still glorious. The furniture still seems to wait for great occasions and the statues are still in the garden.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA10BW5S695BA2SJSCSSS6TYJ56
    Media URN:
    VLVA10BW5S695BA2SJSCSSS6TYJ56
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/01/1971
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:24:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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