The restoration of the Nebi Daniel synagogue in Alexandria has been greeted with rejoicing and gratitude. But this is the price Jews are paying for the preservation of their heritage: according to this article in Egypt Independent, the Egyptian government has declared ‘protected’ 13 artefacts. This means that it is starting to nationalise moveable communal property that might
have been restored to its Jewish owners. (With thanks: JIMENA)
A Torah scroll in the Nebi Daniel synagogue (Photo: Nebi Daniel Association)
The Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt has approved registering 13 artifacts, including Torah scrolls, candlesticks and lanterns, belonging to synagogues in Alexandria and across Egypt’s governorates, in preparation for listing them under the Antiquities Protection Law.
Mohamed Mahran, head of the Central Department of Jewish Antiquities at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, said that the move to approve registering the pieces as antiquities represents the first of its kind.
In a conversation with Al-Masry Al-Youm, Mahran said that specialized scientific and technical committees had submitted a list of 500 pieces from 13 different Egyptian synagogues, including the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria.
The Permanent Committee for Antiquities then approved the selection of 13 artifacts from the list.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities approved the selected artifacts in accordance with established regulations, Mahran noted, adding that the pieces handpicked for antiquity status under the Antiquities Protection Law are over 100 years old and have a specific history.
The Council recommended that the remaining 487 pieces be preserved in preparation for further study and scientific research. The pieces came from a group of around 6,000 total artifacts examined by scientific and technical committees, which included academic professors specializing in archaeology and experts from the Ministry of Antiquities.