Egypt Independent

Egypt attempts to secure historic mosques against theft

The Ministry of Antiquities and the Ministry of Religious Endowments agreed on Tuesday to hire a specialized company to secure 76 historic mosques against theft, after some were burgled.

Minister of Aniquities Zahi Hawass said he has agreed with Minister of Religious Endowments Abdullah al-Husseini that historic mosques affiliated to his ministry, totalling 128 buildings across Egypt, need to be managed by competent, experienced people.

The two ministers also agreed to form a joint committee of senior officials from both ministries to address problems facing their ministries and follow up on the restoration of Islamic monuments.

During their meeting, the ministers also discussed the problem of squatters in historic areas of Cairo, including Al-Azhar, Hussein, Gamaliya, Sayeda Zeinab, Bab al-Wazit, Old Cairo and Ramsis. In order to preserve historic sites, some of which are in a decrepit condition, the joint committee will be charged with finding alternative housing for residents.

The Ministry of Religious Endowments will also examine the possibility of funding mosque restoration projects, Hawass added.

Translated from the Arabic Edition