An ancient mosque in Old Cairo will be reopened to the public after five years of restoration work, Egyptian Culture Minister Farouq Hosni announced Sunday.
The "mosque of al-Mu'ayyad Shaykh ... will be opened within the next few weeks after the completion of its renovation work" which cost up to 14 million Egyptian pounds (about 2.43 million US dollars), Hosni was quoted as saying by the official MENA news agency.
The mosque, built between 1415 and 1422, had suffered from years of exposure to the corrosive effect of subterranean water and its condition grew even worse after the earthquake that hit Egypt in October 1992, according to the report.
Rehabilitation of the mosque lasted five years and were mainly carried out by specialized Egyptian technicians, but foreign experts helped to repair the mosque's mural, said Hosni.
The mosque is part of a complex built by Sultan al-Mu'ayyad who was reigning between 1412 and 1421.
It is said that al-Mu'ayyad was once captured and thrown into the prison on this site, where he suffered terribly from lice and fleas and vowed if he ever came to power he would transform the infested prison into a "saintly place for the education of scholars."
Once he became sultan, he soon fulfilled his promise, spending some 40,000 dinars on its construction.