(Image credit: WMF)
Historic Jewish synagogue, Eliyahu Hanavi will reopen in January 2020 after three years of restoration. Minister of Antiquities, Khaled Al Anani visited Alexandria to check the latest developments at the synagogue, along with Greco-Roman Museum and the Alexandria National Museum, Arab News reported.
The synagogue was shut down in 2012 for security reasons, as a part of its roof had collapsed and exposed the synagogue to rainwater, which seeped into its walls and floors. According to World Monument Fund (WMF), the Ministry of Antiquities allocated 40LE million towards its restoration in 2017. This decision came due to the government’s interest in preserving Egypt’s heritage.
“For Egyptian Jews living around the world, the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue stands as an emblem of the community’s legacy,” WMF states on its official website. “For local residents and authorities, it is a symbol of Egypt’s historical plurality, when diverse national and religious communities lived and worked together in a spirit of conviviality and religious freedom.”
According to WMF, Eliyahu Hanavi was built by an Italian architect in the 1850s. It is considered one of the largest in the Middle East, and it was the last functioning synagogue in the country. It can accommodate 700 people; however, in 2018, the Jewish community in Alexandria counted for less than 10 members.
(Via Egyptian Streets)