Italy to co-finance Cairo Museum of Islamic Art restoration

To repair damage from car bomb last year

20 May, 16:21

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO, MAY 20 - Italy is co-funding repairs on the Museum of Islamic Art in the Egyptian capital, one of the most important ones in the world, which was heavily damaged a year ago by a car bomb. The initiative was relaunched during the Cairo presentation of the campaign #Unite4Heritage promoted by UNESCO as a direct response to recent attacks on the cultural and architectonic heritage of Arab nations. The campaign aims to unite all governments and populations against acts of destruction and damage to archaeological sites of priceless historical and cultural value. The Italian Development Cooperation will be contributing 800,000 euros and through UNESCO there will be the restoration of some of the works damaged by the explosion, the selection of museum deposits damaged by the explosion, the preparation of protocols for the conservation of objects held in the collection and the maintenance, repair and replacement of exhibit cases. The Cairo Museum of Islamic Art is an exceptional collection of rare objects in wood, plaster, metal, ceramic, glass, crystal and fabric from all eras and from the entire Islamic world. It holds a collection of 102,000 priceless works mainly from the buildings and mosques of the Egyptian capital, including painted glass windows, ''mashrabiya'', ceramic objects, manuscripts and rare books. Founded in 1881, since 1903 the museum has been in its current location in the Bab Al-Khalq square, in the 25 halls of a building in a Neo-Mameluk style designed by the Italian architect Alfonso Manescalo and known for being the second building erected in reinforced concrete in the country after the Egyptian Museum. On January 24, 2014, on the eve of the 3rd anniversary of the Egyptian uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the museum and the adjacent National Library of Cairo suffered enormous damaged when a car bomb targeted the nearby central police headquarters. For the restoration, UNESCO will work alongside Rome's High Institute for Conservation and Restoration (ISCR), which has gained prestige at the international level in part due to the expertise gained in Egypt in the museum sector, according to a statement. The conservation and valorization of Egypt's archeological-cultural heritage is one of the main pillars of the Italian Cooperation's work in Egypt. Projects have recently been concluded for the development of Egypt's museums, ''support'' for the Library of Alexandria, the rehabilitation of the Madinet Madi archaeological park and the restructuring of the Mallawi Museum in the Minya governorate. (ANSAmed).

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