Orson Welles: Egyptian art and culture dominated the aesthetics of the First [French] Empire.
Henry Jaglom: I didn't know that.
Orson Welles: Study the interior decoration. It's full of Egyptian elements, just as the Deuxieme Empire of Louis Napoleon drew on Arabic and Algerian sources for exoticism. Just as the English used India for exoticism. Paris is full of imitation Arabic places left over from the Second Empire.
A rather trivial passage from MY LUNCHES WITH ORSON which sent me down a rabbit hole of Egyptian revivalism, finally narrowed down to a few books I'd like to probe, namely:
The Egyptian Revival: an Introductory Study of a recurring Theme in the History of Taste by James Stevens Curl
Stolen Legacy: The Egyptian Origins of Western Philosophy by George G.M. James
The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D. by Chancellor Williams
The Napoleonic Survey of Egypt, Vol. 1 & 2 by Terence M. Russell
The Zodiac of Paris: How an Improbable Controversy over an Ancient Egyptian Artifact Provoked a Modern Debate between Religion and Science by Jed Z. Buchwald, Diane Greco Josefowicz
Egyptomania : A History of Fascination, Obsession and Fantasy by Ronald H. Fritze
Napoleon's Sorcerers: The Sophisians by Darius A. Spieth
The question is, of course, how on Earth I'm ever going to find the time to read all those. And... it's clearly time I got myself a local library card.