Egypt's Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany attends the opening of Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue during its reopening after the completion of a restoration project in Alexandria, Egypt January 10, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's antiquities and tourism minister Khaled El-Anany said the inauguration of the renovated Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria sends a message to the world that Egypt cares for its heritage.
In statements on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the synagogue on Friday, El-Anany said that Egypt has it all, explaining that travellers can enjoy visiting Greek, Roman, Islamic, Coptic, and Jewish monuments.
The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria was inaugurated after massive revamp carried out under a cooperation protocol signed between the Antiquities Ministry and the Armed Forces Engineering Authority in 2017.
The cost of the temple's renovation stands at more than EGP 60 million.
The opening ceremony was attended by Alexandria Governor Mohamed El-Sherif, world-renowned archaeologist Zahi Hawass, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri, Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Mostafa El-Fiqi, in addition to a number of foreign ambassadors and officials.
A documentary on the synagogue's history was screened at the inauguration ceremony.
The history of Jewish synagogues in Egypt represents the religious tolerance of the country. The antiquities ministry has 11 registered Jewish houses of worship: nine in Cairo and two in Alexandria.
The current structure of Eliyahu Hanavi was constructed in the 1850s, after the original building, which dates back to the 1300s, was badly damaged in the late 18th century, during the French occupation of Egypt.
With room for approximately 700 worshipers, it is the larger of the two synagogues remaining in the city.
The renovations included the structural reinforcement of the synagogue, the restoration of its main facade, decorative walls, and brass and wooden objects, and the development of its security and lighting systems, the antiquities ministry said in a statement.