CAIRO: A series of before and after photos showing the external appearance of the recently restored Juyushi Mosque has drawn the criticism of several archaeologists concerned over what they say is the Antiquities Ministry’s lack of commitment to the site’s restoration quality.
The photos, which have circulated on social networking websites, show the authentic rock core body of the mosque’s exterior on the top, along with another photo at the bottom showing the same mosque after restoration, but in a modern style.
Mokhtar al-Kasabany, an Islamic archaeology professor at Cairo University and former adviser to the Supreme Council of Antiquities, has fiercely criticized the ongoing “non-scientific” and “uncoordinated” renovation work on Cairo’s Islamic monuments.
“Fooling around with the monuments in Historic Cairo would lead it to be delisted from the UNESCO World Heritage List,” Kasabany told The Cairo Post Sunday.
Kasabany called on stakeholders to initiate an immediate investigation with officials and conservators responsible for what he says are “a mismanagement” of restoration strategies.
“This is a blatant violation of Egypt’s Renovation Law, which stipulates any new renovation comprise less than 5 percent of the renovated structure,” said Kasabany, who pointed out that the mosque is overseen by the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Ministry of Religious Endowment at the same time because it is both a historical site and a place of worship.
The Cairo Post spoke to a number of officials in the Ministry of Antiquities, all of whom refused to comment on the issue.
Juyushi Mosque, with its commanding view of Cairo, was built on top of Moqattam Mountain in 1085 by Badr al-Jamali (1015-1094), the commander of the armies under the Caliphate of Al-Mustansir (1036-1094), Fathy Khourshid, the head of Islamic and Coptic History at Minya University’s Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, told The Cairo Post Sunday.