Egypt has won an international award for its restoration work on a historic synagogue in the city of Alexandria. According to an announcement by the Ministry of Antiquities on Facebook earlier this month, the restoration of the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue won the award for 'Best Project: Renovation/Restoration in the Engineering News-Record's (ENR) Global Best Projects Competition'.
Egypt's Youm7 website stated that "Egypt is the only country in the competition that won four awards out of 30 winning projects, and the most prominent Egyptian award was for the best international project in the category of restoration and rehabilitation projects for the project of restoring the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria."
At the beginning of last year, the Egyptian government inaugurated the historic synagogue, which dates back to the 14th century following renovations amounting to $4.23 million (68 million Egyptian pounds).
The Eliyahu Hanavi was once home to the Egyptian Jewish community of more than 20,000 during the middle of the last century and is one of the two remaining synagogues in the Mediterranean city. However, it is thought that today's population consists of just 10 elderly members. It is also one of the largest in the Middle East, although it was closed by the authorities in 2012 due to security concerns.
Originally built in 1354, it was bombed during Napoleon's invasion in 1798 and rebuilt at the same site during the 1850s by an Italian architect.