A New Era
A New Era
One goal of the revolutionary leaders was to eradicate foreign imperialism and this was achieved when Nasser ended the last vestige of occupation by signing the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1954, which provided for the gradual withdrawal of troops from the Suez Canal. Nasser emerged as a symbol of new Arab dignity in the face of imperialism, and the attack on Egyptian territory gave him grounds to sequester and eventually nationalize foreign property and interests in Egypt. Acquiring lands and buildings from the wealthy classes and turning them over to the state was one of the early steps taken by the Antiquities Department. As a consequence, when a law was implemented to allow for the speedy dispersal of art collections belonging to the deposed aristocracy, it drew serious criticism from cultured Egyptians who attended auctions in mansions and palaces and were appalled as they watched valuable collections being broken up.
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