Archaeological sites in Alexandria are facing ruin, with renovation projects by the Antiquities Ministry covering 13 ancient Islamic, Coptic and Jewish monuments stalled due to a shortfall in funding that stretches back many years.
Enumerating the endangered structures, [Antiquities Ministry official Mohamed Ali] Saeed listed the Shorbagy Mosque, the Terbana Mosque, the Haqqania courthouse, the Ptolemaic Wall, the old towers, the cisterns of Ibn al-Nabih, Ibn Battouta Ismail and Ingy Hanem, as well as the entire Abu Mina Coptic site. He said that while renovations at some sites have been halted for at least six years, others have not seen conservators for more than 20 years.
Ahmed Abdel Fattah, another expert and a member of the ministry’s permanent antiquities panel, warned of rising groundwater levels at the ancient Ptolemaic and Greek tombs of Mostafa Kamel, Shatbi and Anfoushi, where walls and floors are being gradually eroded. He said the structures should be prioritized for renovation, especially due to their exposure to high humidity levels resulting from proximity to the sea.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Rising groundwater threatens Alexandrian antiquities
ANCIENT ARCHITECTURE IN DANGER: Alexandria’s ancient sites face extinction due to stalled renovation (Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt Independent).