Jewish family reclaims Egyptian hotel

A luxury hotel in Alexandria that had belonged to Jews until it was nationalized by Egypt in 1952 was returned.Founded in 1929 by a French Jewish immigrant, the hotel was seized from the Metzger family in 1952 during Gamal Abdel Nasser’s nationalist revolution. Five years later the Metzgers were expelled from Egypt.Now an 86-room, four-star hotel run by the French company Accor, the Cecil Hotel was returned recently to the Metzger family, then resold to Egypt for an undisclosed amount, according to Agence-France Presse.In its heyday the Cecil hosted such figures as Winston Churchill, British author Lawrence Durrell and Al Capone. A 1996 Egyptian court ruling returned the hotel to its Jewish owners, but the ruling was never carried out for fear that it would establish a precedent for the restitution of nationalized Jewish property in Egypt.

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