CAIRO: Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has said that UNESCO will provide technical support for the development of Historic Cairo.
During his inspection of work to develop the area surrounding the El-Ayoun stream fence (Magra El-Oyoun Fence), within the project of developing the historic Islamic Cairo area, the prime minister said that the project was located on a site of almost 95 acres where the tanneries were built.
“We all know the size of the severe pollution that used to prevail in the region. We are working to end the effects of this pollution that has existed for decades, as no one has previously offered to help develop this area,” Madbouly said.
The prime minister said that the El-Ayoun fence is a world heritage area registered with the UNESCO World Heritage Preservation Organization. The move to develop it is within the aim to restore monuments.
Madbouly said that before development work started, the government was keen to communicate with all concerned parties, such as the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the National Authority for Civilization Coordination. UNESCO visited Egypt last week to review the proposed ideas on the development of the region.
These areas were severely affected more than 50 years ago by random building, which spread at a time when there was no real power and governance by the state, the prime minister said.
The earthquake that struck Egypt in 1992 affected many buildings inside Islamic Cairo. Residents moved and built homes in areas that were archaeological sites, resulting in activities that polluted the environment and represented a real threat to the region, he said.
Madbouly said that the government was working to restore archaeological buildings and also to preserve the urban essence that characterized this region with regard to old buildings that were not registered as antiquities but were part of cultural heritage.
The work carried out in projects to develop historical regions come within efforts to implement the strategy adopted by the country in dealing with such areas. This was based on the necessity of adhering to the plans for rehabilitation and urban revival within any historical region with all international standards and agreements signed by Egypt to preserve urban heritage areas.
Madbouly said that the development processes were considered a surgical intervention carried out according to internationally recognized standards. The aim was to revive the urban essence of Historic Cairo, which reflects the historical era, taking into account the adaptive reuse of archaeological buildings and restoring unregistered heritage buildings, removing distortions in the architectural character and providing cultural, craft and tourism services and activities in the area, facilitating pedestrian movement and coordinating paths and streets to match the historical region.
The prime minister said that the projects also targeted the social and economic restoration of the region to achieve a direct benefit for residents and develop crafts and traditional markets to increase income, provide job opportunities and encourage cultural tourism to the city from both local and foreign visitors.