The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has embarked on a new project targeting the preservation of pulpits in archaeological mosques and protecting them against theft.
The pulpits will be covered with transparent shields.
The ministry has already taken the first step, covering the pulpit of Sultan Abul-Ela Mosque in Islamic Cairo.
Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the Permanent Committee for Islamic and Coptic Antiquities took the decision to implement the project after the repeated thefts of Islamic pulpits in the past few years.
According to a study carried out to minimise the risks Mameluke pulpits may be subject to, the transparent barriers will reduce the risk of theft by up to 85 percent.
They will also protect the pulpits against frictions, scratches, and loss of decorative elements.
Sultan Abul-Ela Mosque
Hisham Samir, the tourism minister's assistant for engineering affairs, explained the barrier is made of triplex glass that is 10mm thick to provide the pulpit with the greatest possible protection against breaking and to prevent thieves from reaching the fine fillings that decorate the pulpit.
The glass also ensures the colour of the pulpit doesn't change over time.
The shield is also protected by a layer of shockproof so that in case the glass is broken it doesn't fall on the floor. It is also provided with a door opposite to that of the pulpit to be used by the preacher. It has two bolts and a patch fitting lock with a computer key.
The archaeological value of the mosque and the pulpit was taken into account during the installation of the shield to allow visitors to see the pulpit and its decorative elements.