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18 March 2020 In Reaction to a Circulating Video Depicting Shaikh Qassim Almehza’a Mosque, Bahrain Culture Authority reiterates its authentic historical restoration priorities
In Reaction to a Circulating Video Depicting Shaikh Qassim Almehza’a Mosque, Bahrain Culture Authority reiterates its authentic historical restoration priorities

 

In reaction to a circulating video on Shaikh Qassim Al Mehza Mosque, Old Manama Suq, Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities would like to stress its keenness and strong determination to revamp heritage buildings and historical sites in Manama, due to the given directives of HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, May God Protect Him. BACA’s pioneering project consists in preserving the historical significance, its unique identity and special character as an essential component of urban architectural fabric.

The video streaming clips circulating display a number of photos and pictures that have nothing to do with the actual status of the mosque, and in no relation with whatsoever with has been achieved by Bahrain Culture Authority so far. Indeed, given that these captions date back to February 2016 and before, and were published in local newspapers after many conducted journalistic investigations, Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities would like to clarify that “Shaikh Qassim Al Mehza Mosque is one of the most important historical icons that inspire the genuine and authentic aspect of the city. The very inspiring gathering monument, which reflects its exceptional historical uniqueness, in addition to its location that invites a detailed standards and requirements because it is part and parcel of the a vital authentic social and architectural fabric”. In addition, Bahrain Culture Authority has pointed out “We are deploying strenuous efforts to regain and preserve the historical and cultural role of the mosque, considered to be the oldest architectural symbol in the area. We are determined to consecrate all our engineering and cultural tools and means to accomplish excavations and restoration works, revamp and rehabilitate Shaikh Qassim Al Mehza Mosque according to the cutting-edge international standards, in harmony with its historical significance and authentic character”.    

Bahrain Culture Authority has also pointed out that revamp and re-building Shaikh Qassim Al Mehza Mosque, located in the heart of Bahrain’s oldest market, to preserve its historical and religious role, is in line with its comprehensive strategy. Indeed, the site, Al- Mehza main mosque building, the immediate urban components surrounding, were studied by a selection of architects and experts in 2014.  The architectural components, composition of the neighboring urban fabric, its relations with Manama Old Suq other elements, as well as the engineering and architectural heritage of Shaikh Qassim Al Mehza Mosque were depicted by a comprehensive extensive study that won “Sultan Award for Urban Heritage” research category.

In consequent, and given the special architectural heritage character of the mosque, build in 1860, and as part of the Culture Authority’s strategy to preserve the historical character of Manama city, Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities succeeded to reach a cooperation possible opportunity with the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, in September 2019. Initial Excavations conducted to expedite the revamp of the Qassim Al-Mehza Mosque in a way that would maintain its historical status and religious role, last October 2019, revealed that that some remnants and artifacts discovered date back to the original building foundations, which would help in shaping a virtual initial perception of Al-Mehza Mosque maps. Moreover, Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities is working to launch the second phase of excavation works, in order to obtain extensive data that would help to reach a final shaping perception of the project before its design and implementation. These action plans by BACA coincided with its Open Call with regard to the Restoration of the Identity of Almehza’a Mosque Minarat – Manama, inviting all those who have information about this symbolic architecture to share their images, video clips, original illustrations, historic researches and document, which will support all endeavors of restoring and reviving this grand mosque.
 
Alternately, Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities has taken the necessary measures to protect and guarantee the site safety through many site-oriented actions, such as the removal of material remains, last September 2019, fencing the site to prevent any threatening vandalism actions detrimental to Shaikh Qassim Al Mehza Mosque’s image. Indeed, the engineering team takes great care to ascertain the safety of the site during field visits, while the experts and specialists continue their efforts to implement the project and highlight its unique historical significance.

Worth to mention that Shaikh Qassim Al Mehza Mosque was built by the Late Ruler Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Father of the Late Shaikh Isa Bin Ali Al-Khalifa, the Ruler of the Kingdom of Bahrain then. The iconic mosque was known as the Grand Mosque, being the biggest at that time in Bahrain with its 40-metre tall minaret, where both Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims used to gather for prayers.  The exceptional historical architectural value of the mosque, in addition to its judicial and religious roles, its relation with authentic socio-economic fabric of Manama Old Suq on World Heritage List. 

 

 

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