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Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery Reopens in Converted Factory

Townhouse gallery’s main building in downtown Cairo partially collapsed in April 2016.

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Townhouse Gallery, a prominent contemporary arts space in Cairo, has reopened in a converted paper factory after enduring years of hardships, including the partial collapse and demolition of its former headquarters, Anny Shaw of the Art Newspaper reports.

The gallery’s main exhibition space was shut down by members of the censorship and tax authorities after a raid in December 2015 in an apparent crackdown on dissenters. Director William Wells said that the new venue currently faces regulations being enforced on all cultural institutions: “Almost every work, exhibition, music performance, theater or film presentation needs to have permission from the appropriate syndicate or censors . . . There is no flexibility.”

Wells added that the gallery’s main building “stands in legal limbo, with several court cases involved,” including the illegal demolition enforced by authorities, but he is working to eventually reopen the space.

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