Port Said, a city overlooking the Suez Canal, is named after Egypt’s Khedive Mohammed Said Pasha in recognition of his enthusiasm to dig a man-made waterway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. The decision was made by an international commission suggested by England, France, Russia, Austria and Spain. On April 25, 1859 the Egyptian national flag was raised on the site and labourers were given the go-ahead with the unprecedented project. Since its birth, Port Said has witnessed major events, the most important of which was the tripartite aggression led in 1956 by England, France and Israel after Egypt nationalized Suez Canal. The city was the stronghold of heroic national resistance, which forced the aggressors to pull out. In 1967 the city’s residents were evacuated from their homes after Israel launched its military attack against the Egyptian territory. The Suez Canal was closed down. However, after the Egyptian army won a decisive victory against Israel in 1973, restoring its control on the waterway, the displaced people returned triumphantly to Port Said. The Suez Canal was also reopened after its eight-year closure.
To commemorate the city’s glorious past the Ministry of Culture represented by the Sector of Fine Art opened Al-Nasr Museum of Modern Art on December 25, 1995. Up to 75 paintings, sculptures, drawings, graphics and ceramics made by preeminent Egyptian artists are on display. Some works of art highlighted the issue of war and peace.
On the other hand, the museum’s officials organise artistic and cultural soirées and seminars to activate cultural life in Port Said. Talents are also given special interest as they are encouraged to join artistic workshops sponsored by experienced artists and qualified staff.