Two historic Italian newspapers in Egypt to be digitalised

Italian Embassy project to help scholars

11 October, 18:24

    CAIRO - Italian Ambassador to Egypt Giampaolo Cantini, in his last public event as ambassador, announced the start of a "digitalisation project of two historic newspapers published by the Italian community in Egypt between 1895 and 1940".

    Cantini's comments came during an event Sunday at the Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo to present three cultural initiatives by the Italian Embassy.

    The two newspapers that will be digitalised are "L'Imparziale" and "Giornale d'Oriente".

    "This is a collection made up of 181 volumes that will be entirely scanned and digitalised, and can be consulted online," Cantini said, calling it "one-of-a-kind cultural heritage relating to a crucial period for the history of modern Egypt".

    Cantini said the newspapers provide "very significant accounts of Italy's contribution to the development of the country's institutions and civil society".

    The newspapers were published in Cairo and Alexandria, said Wafaa El Beih, coordinator of the project, which was conducted with the Italian Institute of Culture in Cairo.

    "The most important Italian daily, and the one that had the longest life, is 'L'Imparziale', which was founded in 1892," said El Beih, who is a professor at Helwan University.

    "Then, in 1930, it merged with the 'Messaggero Egiziano di Alessandria' taking the name 'Giornale d'Oriente', which remained in publication until 1940," she said.

    She said the newspaper "dedicated ample space to the news of Cairo and Alessandria, news from the ministries, courts, and stock market".

    The project aims to offer "global access" to the collections, breaking down the barriers of geographic distance and economic or political conditions, she said.

    Cantini said the work was made possible "by the generous contribution of Alexbank", the Egyptian-controlled arm of Intesa Sanpaolo banking group.

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