Townhouse Gallery, located in downtown Cairo, reopened on Monday following a two month closure after an inspection that was made in late December.

A raid was carried out on December 28 by the local municipality, the Censorship Authority and the Tax Authority, based on claims of ‘administrative irregularities’, which led to the contemporary arts venue getting shut down. Townhouse later released a statement on their Facebook page on January 20, addressing the incident.

According to Ahram Online, Townhouse’s outreach director Yasser Gerab said that, ““It started with no one telling us who is responsible and who to approach, and a lack of clarity with what was being asked of us, although we have our papers and licenses ready.”

“Only recently, in February, did the local municipality begin cooperating, and it allowed us to open for 15 days, during which time inspections will be held to decide what is missing from the space and how we will need to comply with their new terms,” Gerab continued.

For the time being, Townhouse Gallery has been reopened in order to get things in order for the municipality, however, it is not resuming public programming as of yet, and its performing arts space – Rawabet theatre – has not yet been reopened.

According to Mada Masr, Townhouse was shut during a time of where several raids on cultural spaces and private apartments had been made ahead of the fifth anniversary of the January 25 revolution.

Townhouse Gallery is a well-known and highly successful arts and culture hub in Cairo, and it has been operating since 1998.

*Information gathered from Ahram Online, Mada Masr.
*Photo credits: Townhouse Gallery

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