CAIRO: The 1,000-year-old dome of a mausoleum in Aswan’s Fatimid cemetery was severely damaged Monday after a derrick fell on it during nearby construction, said the head of the Antiquities Ministry’s Islamic and Coptic Monuments Dept., Mohamed Abdel Latif.
In a phone call with al-Mehwar TV channel, Abdel Latif said the boom of a derrick, working in the neighboring area, where the Aswan International Sculpture Symposium is being held, “malfunctioned and fell causing damage to the southern part of the fence surrounding the Maadawi dome mausoleum along with half of the dome’s top.”
The crane also caused damage to parts of the mausoleum shaft, he added.
Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty said the ministry had filed a police report against the derrick driver adding that he has created a committee of archaeologists to examine the damage and suggest the best renovation solutions, Youm7 reported Tuesday.
“The German archaeological mission, currently operating at the Aswan’s Fatimid Cemetery, will carry out the restoration work of the damaged dome soon,” said Damaty.
The dome, which faces the western gate of the Nubian Museum, is located in Aswan’s Fatimid Cemetery, comprising tombs dating from the seventh to the 12th century A.D.
In December, the cemetery was re-opened to the public after an eight-year renovation work.
The cemetery originally comprised of 80 tombs, out of which 30 tombs still exist, while the rest have been lost due to urban expansion and the fragile materials like mud brick used in constructing the tombs, according to Damaty.