Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [Near East]

Heritage: Egypt moves to protect Islamic heritage sites
Egypt has formed a ministerial committee charged with developing a strategy to safeguard the country’s Islamic heritage by reinvigorating faltering projects.

Egypt moves to protect Islamic heritage sites
The Sultan Hassan Mosque and madrasa (school) is considered stylistically the most 
compact and unified of all Cairo's monuments [Credit: Flickr.com/desktopio]

“The committee has agreed to found a joint fund to complete stalled renovation projects to many mosques and other Islamic sites.” said Gamal Mostafa, part of the new committee and director general of the archaeological sites of Al-Sultan Hassan and al-Rifaai mosques. “[The committee] aims to tackle the bureaucracy and obstacles that inhibit the completion of Islamic heritage development projects.”

Over the past decade, several development projects – particularly in Cairo which is one of the world’s oldest Islamic cities – have been launched to protect Egypt’s ancient mosques, but lack of funding coordination and security following the 2011 revolution meant the majority of projects were abandoned.

The Egyptian government has been criticised over the increase in thefts, not only in mosques, but in Egypt’s heritage sites across the country. Following the 2011 revolution and the subsequent collapse of the country’s government, armed gangs, looters and general destruction placed the country’s rich cultural history in peril. As a result, Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab requested support from UNESCO to try and stem reports of ongoing chaos at Egyptian heritage sites.

Author: Tom Anstey | Source: Leisure Management [January 13, 2015]