Six Islamic lamps that decorate the ceilings of the mausoleums of Egypt's King Fouad and Princess Ferial at Al-Refai mosque in Cairo were stolen Sunday, an official at the Supreme Council of Antiquities said.
Secretary General of the council Mostafa Amin told Ahram Online the Ministry of Antiquities "learned of the theft today and has begun a full investigation to find the lamps and the person(s) responsible for their theft."
Alsaeed Helmy, Head of Islamic and Coptic Antiquities at the ministry, said that six out of 15 lamps were stolen from the mausoleums. The lamps date to 1910, and are made of glass decorated with a Quranic verse from the Surah An-Nur written in Mameluke raised script.
The verse says: "Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp."
Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany has referred the case to the General Prosecution for investigation, Amin said.
The case has also been referred to the Tourism and Antiquities Police as well as the Ministry of Endowments, which is responsible for both mausoleums, for assistance in recovering the lamps.
Amin added that El-Enany ordered the formation of a committee to carry out an inventory of all the artefacts that reside in the mosque.
The Al-Refai mosque is the resting place of many members of the Egyptian Royal Family, including the last monarch, King Farouk. The last Shah of Iran was also buried in the mosque in 1980.
By Nevine El-Aref
© Copyright Al-Ahram Publishing House