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Ministry of Culture sit-in continues

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Protest will continue until a new minister is appointed and controversial decisions are reversed.

Egyptian employees of the Cairo Opera House and opponents Islamist President Mohamed Morsi hold a portrait of late Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, known in Arabic as Kawkab al-Sharq "Star of the East", during a demonstration inside the Opera's compound in Cairo on May 30, 2013  (AFP Photo)

Egyptian employees of the Cairo Opera House and opponents Islamist Mohamed Morsi hold a portrait of late Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, known in Arabic as Kawkab al-Sharq “Star of the East”, during a demonstration inside the Opera’s compound in Cairo on May 30, 2013
(AFP File Photo)

Recent days have seen conflicting reports as to the status of the Ministry of Culture sit-in, with some claiming its disbandment following the military’s announcement on Wednesday.

As of Saturday morning, the area seemed deserted, but the porter said there were people sleeping inside. Abdel Galeel El-Sharnouby, spokesperson of the Creativity Front confirmed that the sit-in is continuing inside the ministry. “We are waiting to hand over the ministry to the new minister,” he said.

According the Creativity Front’s Facebook page, the sit-in will continue until the new minister of culture is appointed and all of the decisions of the previous minister are cancelled. It is also organising a march for Sunday at 4pm, which will move from Zamalek to Tahrir to condemn the violence by the Muslim Brotherhood.

In a statement published on Friday 5 July, the organisers expressed their intent to prioritise the constitution for the coming transitional period, as well as their expectation that intellectuals and artists will have a no less than 10% representation in the Constitutional Committee. They also expressed resentment for former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster being called a “coup”, saying: “The 30 June Revolution is a continuation of the January 25th Revolution, which removed a fascist regime, hiding behind religion.”

Most cultural activities around Downtown and Zamalek have been postponed for another day. The Cairo Opera House, for example, announced that the ballet performances of Zorba, set to take place on 7 and 8 July, had been cancelled due to the current circumstances. The performances were to be the last of the season.

Moreover, since the Armed Forces statement on 3 July, the government has been dissolved. However, Late Friday, the former Minister of Culture, Alaa Abdel Aziz issued a statement on his Facebook account saying that he has resigned in objection of the current political situation, which he called “a coup”.


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