Nasser, the first president of modern Egypt, took the same avenue in order to approach the Mohamed Ali Square and declare the independence of the Arab republic of Egypt, and definitely it played an important role in the 2011 revolution. Intellectual activities were also highly influenced by such relativistic tendencies. There were numerous publications dealing with classical studies, such as literature, history and arts, all of them named with ancient Greek/Hellenistic names like Pharos, Sarapeion, Parthenon, Isis, Zenon, Alexander the Great, Dodona and Pantaneos. Moreover, the famous Greek Alexandrian poet C. P. Cavafy, dedicated a considerable part of his poetry to well-known figures of Alexandria’s history, such as Cleopatra VII, Mark Anthony, Caesarion, the Ptolemies and “the priests of Sarapeion.” Another cycle of poems, which met immense success, concern Cavafy’s pioneering view on Homer, such as “Ithaka”, which is generally considered as one of the greatest poems of our times. Concerning public architecture, Alexandria follows the neo-classical trends that were also popular in Europe during the late 19th until the first half of the 20th century. Several public buildings and monuments comprise a reference to Alexandria’s ancient past, obtaining a distinctively Alexandrian form. Several examples of public buildings of this kind can be traced in Alexandria, and the present day Egyptian Chamber of Commerce, designed by the French architect V. Erlager and the civil engineer F. Debanne in 1934 (Fig. 150). It represents revivalistic version of an ancient Roman temple, Δ-style in antis with podium, recalling several Roman temple prototypes, notably the Maison Carre of Nim. Still, above the central doorway, there is a shield with an image of Isis-Pharia. IsisPharia was the Greco-Roman version of the ancient Egyptian goddess, as mistress of the sea and protector of Sailors120. This version of Isis is related to the role of Alexandria in the same period as major trade center, distributor of the Egyptian agricultural wealth and leading harbor of the Mediterranean. Another characteristic example of neoclassical public architecture is the Credit Francais in Omar Toussoun street, built by a Greek architect, N. Paraskeuas, where we detect clear neoclassical elements, such as the the Ionic propylon of its entrance (fig. 151). In other cases, public buildings reflect the cultural identity of specific communities such as the Greek and the Italian. Hence the present day Monument of Soldier, in the sea side of Mansheya Square recalls the baroque court of Vatican, which of course, by its turn recalls the colonnaded courts of Roman fora. Similarly buildings related to the Greek community reflect the identity of the largest community in cosmopolitan Alexandria with clear neoclassical elements, like in the case of Tositsas 120
For the diffusion of the Isiac cults, see Bricault, 2001.