CAIRO – 26 May 2021: The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has largely completed the maintenance project taking place inside the ancient Virgin Mary Tree area.
Recently, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled el-Enani, has inspected the latest developments of the Virgin Mary Tree development project and the surrounding area in the Al-Matariya neighborhood in Cairo, which is one of the stops on the path of the Holy Family’s journey in Egypt.
What are the stages of development in the Virgin Mary Tree project?
Raising the efficiency of the site to receive visitors, as some of the tree-bearing pillars were replaced by the Institute of Archaeological Crafts, and searchlights were placed around the tree. A wooden fence has been installed around the ancient tree to permanently protect it.
Has the project included works to develop the well next to the Virgin Mary Tree?
The well adjacent to the tree has also been cleared, and the waterfall in it has been maintained.
What about the paths leading to the Virgin Mary Tree?
The development of the park adjacent to the Virgin Mary Tree area and the road leading to it was completed, in cooperation with Cairo Governorate.
What will be done during the coming period?
Guidance signs are being placed in accordance with the drawings that have been approved by the Projects Sector and the Permanent Committee for Islamic and Coptic Antiquities.
The area around the tree is being developed by the relevant neighborhood authority, and 10 murals were received from the Nahri Association, to be installed on the walls surrounding the Virgin Mary Tree, and work is underway to install these paintings.
What happened to the floors and buildings in the area?
Comprehensive maintenance of the floors was completed, as well as developing the external fences, and installing a pergola and some seats around the tree for visitors to sit and relax.
That is in addition to equipping the administrative headquarters, and the visitor center, where screens will be installed to screen documentary films on the Holy Family's journey in Egypt.
The walls were also restored, and salts and impurities were removed from the domes. In the Exhibition Hall, the insulation of the dome and the maintenance and treatment of the walls, floors and doors were carried out. The hall is being prepared by placing photos of the Holy Family’s Visit.
The development work also included the development of the archaeological site from the inside, re-painting the facades of the buildings in the vicinity of the site, re-cladding the walls and preparing a museum display room in which the artifacts will be placed.
It is worth mentioning that the one of the main tasks of the project was to raise the efficiency of the tourism services in the region and develop the surrounding areas in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Development.