Monday, November 14, 2011

Funding issues threaten preservation of Christian sanctuary

Al Masry Al Youm (Ragab Ramadan)

The archaeological site of Abu Mena, an early Christian sanctuary south of Alexandria, might be added back to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in Danger, warned Mohamed Reda, head of the Engineering and Technical Unit for the Museums and Monuments in Delta and Sinai, at the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The site, which includes a complex of churches and Saint Mar Mena al-Agaiby’s Monastery, is among the most important destinations for Christian pilgrims around the world. In 2001, the site was put on the UNESCO list due to a significant rise in groundwater levels, a common problem in the Mediterranean region, where the local soil becomes semi-liquid with excess water resulting from urban growth and agricultural development.

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