Attitudes towards architectural conservation : the case of Cairo
Part one: History of conservation in Cairo, is divided in two chapters. The Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt in 1798AD is used as a symbol for the changes that happened in attitudes. Chapter 1 tackles Pre-Napoleon attitudes, whereas Chapter 2 tackles Post-Napoleon attitude. Methodology used in the two chapters is totally different: The absence of any previous study on attitudes in Pre-Napoleon Cairo, made it necessary to use a method of analysis and observations on certain buildings in order to extract attitudes of the time. Whereas Chapter 2 is a mere collection of observations and writings on Post-Napoleon attitudes. Part two: Different aspects of conservation, is divided in three chapters. Chapter 3, Ideological and cultural aspects, discusses the influence of the ideology of Islam and the cultural characteristics of Arabic on attitudes. This chapter is inherently controversial, as it tackles the heart of Speiser's question. And unavoidably it challenges a well established branch of Western academia, Orientalism. Chapter 4, Social, economic and cultural aspects, addresses the particular development/conservation attitudes, problems, and possibilities in Cairo. The main approach of this chapter is to learn from the informal sector how to survive through hardships. Chapter 5, Technical aspects, reviews problems of Cairo on different scales without losing sight of other aspects of conservation, which do affect attitudes. Part three, Attitudes to architectural conservation, consists of one chapter. Chapter 6, Range of possible attitudes, acknowledges the wide range of possible attitudes. A study trip to Cairo, Damascus, Lahore, and San'a' made it possible to meet theoretically possible attitudes with actual existing attitudes. The collection of theoretically possible attitudes, is the result of previous conservation education and experience, and well as the heated discussions with Tony Vogt, lecturer, and students at the Mackintosh School of Architecture.