Saudi Arabia has unveiled a royal decree ordering the demolition of the palaces of three legendary Egyptian kings, as the country seeks to revive the image of the Islamic kingdom it toppled in 1979.
The decree was issued on Wednesday by the Saudi interior ministry, and said the three palaces would be razed on the grounds that they “contain the tombs of persons of evil character”.
In March, King Salman said the royal decree had been drafted in response to “all attempts to tarnish the Islamic name of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, and to “make the Kingdom the centre of the world community” by renaming the city’s Palace of the Nile, a move he said was “the best and the only way” to preserve the country’s image.
It was not immediately clear if the decree meant the three structures would be demolished, but they are part of the countrys ancient royal palaces that were built in the 7th century BC and were later restored in the 19th century.
The palace was the headquarters of the royal court of the pharaohs, and the ancient Egyptian name for Cairo was Palmyram, which means “the city”.
The palaces were built by the pharoahs after the kingdom was founded in the 8th century AD.
Egypt’s antiquities minister said the palades, which date back to the 4th Dynasty (c.1700-1400 BC), had been damaged by flooding and were “unable to withstand any further deterioration”.
The ministry said it would issue a decision within days.
“We have not given up on the preservation of the Palace of Palmyrams and all of its treasures,” said Amr Abdallah, who heads the ministry’s antiquity department.
“I am sure the authorities will work with us in the best possible way.”
The announcement was met with applause by some Egyptians.
“It’s a good sign,” said Abdel Moneim Abdel-Aziz, a prominent writer and activist.
“There is a clear intention to make Egypt a centre of civilisation.”
The Palace of Ptolemy (also spelled Ptolemus) was founded by the Pharaoh Ptoletes III in the 3rd Century BC and was home to the royal palace of the dynasty that ruled Egypt for three centuries.
In the 6th century, the palace was destroyed by fire in a siege in Egypt’s second city, Alexandria, but the remains of the structure remained and were donated to the British Museum in 2010.
The ancient Egyptian royal palace was built by King Ptoledes I of Egypt from the 4 to 7th centuries BC, when he seized control of Egypt after its independence from the Ottoman Empire.
The building was dedicated in 1225 by King Alexander III, a nephew of P.T. In 1256, the pharaonic palace was completed.
It is one of the most famous structures in Egypt.
The walls and palaces are still visible on the southern edge of Cairo.
The royal palace is the largest structure in Egypt, with more than 3,000 rooms and a museum of the palace, a collection of artifacts and relics.