Mixed-use Center and Museum Projects to begin in Citadel, Al Azhar

Zahi Hawass (right) and Luis Monreal [general manager for the AKTC] (left) signing the MOU for restoration lab and Urban Plaza

CAIRO: Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), and Luis Monreal, general manager for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, signed Tuesday a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a restoration lab at the Salah Eddin Citadel and an “Urban Plaza” project in Al Azhar Park.

The Urban Plaza will be in the northern end of Al Azhar Park near the 12th Century Ayyubid Wall and will include underground car parking, shops, and cultural facilities.

The temporary restoration lab will be used to restore artifacts and artwork. These items will then be displayed in a museum that will cover the history of Cairo from Ancient Egypt until modern times. The small museum (about 3,817 square meters) in the Urban Plaza will also exhibit the urban, cultural, and archeological history of Cairo.

A representative from the SCA told Daily News Egypt that the 1,500 items will be taken from the storehouses of the Islamic and Coptic museums, the Citadel, and the Matariya archeological site.

The pottery, weaving, wood, and stone pieces will portray the evolution in religious and civil architecture in Cairo.

Hawass said that the monuments of Kings Ramsis II and Meneptah, taken from the Matariya site, will be on display.

The “very technical” lab will preserve and restore items for the museum as well as for the Museum of Islamic Art, set to open later this year. It will serve as a training venue for young technicians in the field.

The SCA and the Aga Khan Trust have worked together since 2000, restoring a collection of Islamic monuments in El-Darb El-Ahmar.


Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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