General Director of the Islamic, Coptic and Jewish Antiquities in Alexandria and the North Coast, Mohammed Metwali, confirmed on Monday that restoration and development for the Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue, and the Graeco-Roman Museum were at 50 percent and 20 percent respectively.
Metwali added that architects have worked on restoring the synagogue’s copper collections, candlesticks, metal chandeliers and wood as well as replacing the old marble floors with new ones.
He also said that the government allocated LE 1,270,0000 to restore eight national projects, including restoration of Alexandria and the North Coast’s Antiquities which have cost nearly LE 100 million.
The Torah scrolls in the synagogue are in good condition and in a safe place, Metwali assured.
The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue was built in 1354 AD. It was bombed by the French during their invasion of Egypt in 1798 and was re-built in 1850 with contributions from the Muhammad Ali dynasty. It is included on the World Monuments Fund’s 2018 list of monuments at risk.
Although services are still held in the synagogue, it now caters to a very small community due to the dwindling number of Jews in Alexandria and Egypt.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm