A thief attempting to dismantle an ivory star-shaped plate on the dome of Al-Saleh Nagmul Din Ayyub’s archaeological complex has been arrested by guards with the help of local residents.
Mostafa Amin, Head of the Islamic Sector, told Ahram Online that some parts of the plate were damaged but can be easily repaired and restored to their original position.
Al-Saleh Nagmul Din Ayyub was the last Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt and died while defending the country against a Crusader attack led by Louis IX.
The complex includes a Madrassa (school), which was the first to host each of the four Sunni legal schools in a separate Iwan (section). A mausoleum was built next to the madrassa by the Sultan’s wife, Shagaret Al-Dur, after his death.
Shagaret Al-Dur ruled with the first Mameluke sultan after her husband’s death. The mausoleum is the first known example of a tomb being attached to a madrassa and among its most notable features is the mihrab which is the earliest extant example of an Egyptian prayer niche with a marble lining and wooden cenotaph marking the tomb itself.