The Ministry of Antiquities has begun restoration and development work on Al-Mahaly Mosque in the Delta city of Rosetta, part of a plan to preserve the city's monuments and transform it into an open-air museum of Islamic art.
Engineer Waadalla Aboul Ela, head of the ministry's projects department, said the mosque is in a bad condition, with numerous cracks, a high rate of humidity and a high level of groundwater.
Aboul Ela said that the restoration work will include fixing the poor sewage system in the area, which has negatively impacted the mosque, while preventing the leakage of sewage into the walls.
Cracks will be filled, the walls, columns and ceilings will be consolidated and the foundations strengthened, while a new lighting system will be installed, he said.
The development and restoration work is expected to last for nearly three years, costing EGP 86 million in total. Once the work is completed, the mosque, which has been closed for years, will be opened to the public once more.
Mohamed Abdel Latif, Assistant to the Minister of Antiquities for Archaeological Sites, explained that the mosque belonged to Sheikh Ali Al-Mahaly, who died in Rosetta and was buried in 495 AD.
The mosque is located in the city center and has a wooden ceiling embellished with gilded decorations and supported by 99 pillars of different shapes.