CAIRO – After 16 years, Egypt has completed the restoration of a famous Cairo landmark — the Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Church, also known as the Hanging Church.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and the country's Coptic Christian pope, Tawadros II, attended the Saturday's ceremony marking the end of the $5.4 million restoration project.
The Hanging Church, one of the country's oldest, owes the nickname to the fact that it rests above a gatehouse of a 2nd century Roman fortress. It was the seat of the Coptic pope from the 7th to the 13th century.
Mahlab says the restoration took long because of "engineering challenges" in dealing with underground waters that threatened the area's antiquities.
It lies in a complex housing one of the oldest synagogues and the first mosque built in Cairo.