Egypt's Ministry of State of Antiquities has announced plans to renovate the Eliyahu Hanavi (Prophet Elijah) Synagogue in Alexandria at the cost of some $2.24 million, the head of the Department of Coptic and Islamic Antiquities, al-Saeed Helmy Ezza, told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The synagogue, which was built in 1850, was forced to close its doors after part of the ceiling over the women's prayer section collapsed several months ago.
The renovation, according to Ezza, will include an architectural restoration of the structure and will begin as soon as the ministry's board of directors approves the project.
Ezza said that although the law stipulates the Jewish community should bear the full cost of the renovation, it was decided to allocate to the project 40 million Egyptian pounds (2.2 million USD).
When the synagogue was built in the 19th century, Alexandria had a magnificent Jewish community. As late as the 1930s, it numbered more than 20,000 Jews.