Independent body to administer Historic Cairo Restoration Project: Damaty
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty - YOUM7/Khaled Kamel

CAIRO: Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty announced Sunday the creation of an independent body to administer the Historic Cairo Restoration Project (HCRP).

“The independent body will include representatives from the Tourism Ministry, Housing Ministry and Cairo governorate, said Damaty during a press conference held at the Antiquities Ministry.

Present at the conference were representatives from a joint delegation of international archaeology-affiliated bodies including UNESCO, the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH.)

“The Ministry of Antiquities has encountered financial problems with its total debt, which rose to 2.8 billion EGP due to the sharp decrease in its revenues in the wake of the January 25 Revolution,” according to Damaty.

The delegation, which arrived in Cairo Thursday, has visited several archaeological projects under construction, including the Grand Egyptian Museum, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and the Museum of Islamic Art.

“This broad international meeting with the international organizations aims to discuss possible cooperation mechanism to preserve Egypt’s cultural heritage and ways to support and fund the under-construction archaeological projects,” Damaty said.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab met Thursday with the ministerial committee tasked with the implementation of the HCRP to develop immediate measures to accelerate the project, Youm7 reported Wednesday.

The Tourism Ministry was tasked with funding the current renovation work at the Citadel of Saladin and Al-Sultan Hassan Mosque, the Ministry of Endowment was tasked with the administration of the historical mosques, while the Cairo Governorate was instructed to halt infringements on the archaeological sites within the city, Damaty told Youm7 Wednesday.

HCRP was launched by UNESCO in July 2010 to provide the Egyptian government technical assistance concerning the management of its World Heritage property.

 “The project aims to plan and manage tools necessary for the conservation of the historic landmarks from the medieval Fatamid era (969 CE – 1250 CE), estimated between 450 and 630 structures, member of HCRP team, architect Ahmed Mansy told The Cairo Post Sunday.

One of its accomplishments is the creation of an open-air museum at Al Moez Street, which became accessible to Egyptians and tourists, Mansy said.

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