George Scanlon

With the death of Professor George Scanlon on Sunday 13 July, during a short visit to New York, the field of Islamic art and architecture has lost a remarkable scholar and perhaps the last of the great amateur archaeologists: amateur in the best eighteenth-century sense of the word. His loss will resonate throughout Cairo, where he made his life’s home, in so far as anyone with such wide tastes and universal interests can be said to have had a temporal home, but, as his muse was Egypt, he wore the city like a comfortable old pair of shoes. His students will remember him as an inspired and incomparable cicerone of the Islamic architecture of Cairo, pointing out the discreet beauty of some stonework or the historical significance of some monument, but always insisting on the exactitude of dates and facts.

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