Villa Borghese - statue of Ahmed Shawky

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Villa Borghese refers to a villa built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio according to the sketches of Scipione Borghese. It is also a gallery that occupies the villa as well as the gardens in which the villa is sited.

The gardens of Villa Borghese create the largest Roman public park. It is located north of the Spanish Steps. There is a lake, some temples, fountains, statues and several museums. It is a favourite place for both locals and tourists.

What started as a vineyard in the 16th century was turned into a park by Cardinal Scipione Borghese at the beginning of the 17th century. The landscape was designed by Domenico Savino da Montepulciano, who designed very formal, geometric-shaped, park. There was a villa built (as abovementioned). The design of the park was loosen in the 18th century and an artificial lake was created. There stands a small Ionic temple on the isle in the lake. It is dedicated to Aesculapius, the God of healing. In 1903 the city of Rome bought the park from the Borghese family and it became a public park.

In 1911 the World Exposition was held in this park. Several of the pavilions built by the different countries still exist (from Britain, Austria, Denmark, Egypt and Sweden).
The museums that can be found in the park are Museo e Galleria Borghese (housed in the Villa Borghese) displaying collection of statues as well as paintings of some famous artists (such as Canova, Bernini, Titian, Rubens or Raphael), the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna with a collection of mostly Italian 19th and 20th century paintings and Museo Nazionale Etrusco with pre-Roman objects, mostly Etruscan, excavated around Rome.
To some other attractions belong an amphitheater (the Piazza di Siena), an 18th century arch (the arco di Settimio Severo) and a botanical garden.

Monument to Ahmed Shawki was a gift from the Council of Literature, Arts and Sciences in Cairo. The park received it in 1962. The statue was created by the Saudi Arabian sculptor Gamai el Sagini.
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