The mosque is the first mosque to be built in Egypt during the Mamluk era.
Egypt has resumed restoration on the historical 13th century al-Zahir Baybars mosque in Cairo, according to Channel News Asia, which shows that important cultural work is back on track following seven years of political turmoil.
Renovations had already begun in 2007, but work halted in 2011, the year of the Egyptian revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
Since then, Egypt has found it difficult to fund restoration projects, as political upheaval drove away tourists and foreign investors.
This mosque right here is truly historical; it was the first mosque of the Mamluk period and, upon its completion in 1267, it also became the first Friday mosque to be built in Cairo in over a hundred years. It took around a year and a half to finish, and cost 1 million dirhams.
Unfortunately, the mosque now lacks most of its defining features, including its dome, minarets, roof and most of its decoration; however, at over 10,000 square metres and 12 metres tall, the impression of grandeur still remains.
As of now, workers have started by removing dried weeds from inside the mosque and restoring fittings.
Cairo’s extremely rich in historic buildings of architectural interest, but many of them are crumbling due to lack of funding and neglect.
The Antiquities Ministry expects to complete the EGP 100 million project in 12 to 18 months.
Projects such as these are extremely important in preserving Cairo’s heritage. In 2014, the “Save Cairo” campaign was launched on Facebook, aiming to raise awareness on the lack of preservation of these antique buildings.
Main image from Reuters