Le roman d’Héliopolis
Monday 22 May 2017 at 7 pm
A descendant of Boghos Nubar Pacha, historian and lecturer Amélie d’Arschot will take us back to the fantastical adventure that was the construction of a new city in the middle of the desert a few kilometres away from Cairo : Heliopolis.
The industrialist Edouard Empain joined forces with Boghos Nubar, the son of the great Egyptian minister, in order to acquire the first thousand hectares. But what were their motivations behind this decision? Where and how did this ingenious idea come to Louis Empain? The author will take us behind the scenes of the Grande Exposition Universelle of 1900 and will bring to life key figures of this extraordinary adventure through her lively descriptions : king Leopold II without whom Belgian interests in Egypt would not have been developed, various businessmen, as well as talented architects.
They built a sublime city in every sense : in its architectural layout as well as its style.
Heliopolis was, however, much more than a magnificent city; it represented an entire way of life and a spirit of tolerance where different faiths could coexist.
Amélie d’Arschot is a historian and lecturer. Administrator of the Association Royale des Demeures Historiques de Belgique (Royal Association of Historical Residences and Gardens in Belgium). The subjects of her lectures are essentially historical figures whom she brings back to life through detailed research. She also participates in television and radio programmes. She is a guide and lecturer at the Villa Empain and at the Lussato Institute.
BOGHOSSIAN FOUNDATION – VILLA EMPAIN
Centre for art and dialogue between the cultures of the East and the West
Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 67
B – 1050 Brussels
T. +32 2 627 52 30