Kaaba Kiswa to be handed over to Egypt's antiquities ministry

Nevine El-Aref , Monday 18 Jun 2012

The 19th-century pieces of embroidered Al-Kaaba Kiswa, exhibited at Qubbat Afandina, are to given to the Ministry of State for Antiquities


Three months after the theft of two pieces of a 19th-century embroidered Al-Kaaba Kiswa (the Kaaba cover) from the mausoleum of Khedive Tawfik in Cairo's eastern cemetery, the Ministry of Religious Endowments (Awkaf) decided to hand the other exhibited pieces over to the Ministry of State for Antiquities.

These pieces are embroidered with calligraphy in gold and silver thread, similar to those that were traditionally sent by the Egyptian monarchy to cover the Kaaba in Saudi Arabia. They currently hang on the walls of the mausoleum.

Antiquities State Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online that although these pieces were not registered on Egypt’s list of antiquities, the antiquities ministry had agreed to receive them, per the request of Religious Endowments Minister Mohamed El-Qousi.

The pieces, he explained, would be restored, documented and put on Egypt’s antiquities list before being put on display in the Tapestry Museum located on Mediaeval Cairo's Al-Muizz Street.

Ibrahim has also assigned an archaeological committee led by Nabila Habib, the head of administration for Islamic Art, to inspect all archaeological monuments under the supervision of Ministry.
Two pieces of Al-Kaaba Kiswa remain missing, with little clue who stole them.
The Qubbat Afandina in a neo-Mamluk style dome built in 1894 by Khedive Abbas Helmi in memory of his father, Khedive Tawfik.  
The Islamic monument is registered on Egypt antiquities list but the stolen pieces, as well as the other objects on display inside, are not.
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