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‘Restoration work carried out without Council’s knowledge’
KUWAIT CITY, March 13: The Ali bin Hamad Mosque is considered one of the historical and heritage buildings in Kuwait, but the Ministry of Awqaf carried out restoration work for the mosque which is registered at the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters without its knowledge, which made the NCCAL send a letter disclaiming its responsibility for any damage to the heritage building, reports Al-Jarida daily. In a strongly worded letter, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs received a letter from the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature, blaming the ministry for any damage to the Ali bin Hamad Heritage Mosque, after it carried out restoration work without its knowledge.
The council said, in its letter, “The Ali bin Hamad Mosque is considered one of the preserved historical buildings and is registered in the heritage register of the State of Kuwait and with a second classification, based on Amiri Decree No. 1 of 1960 for the Antiquities Law and the restoration work on the mosque was carried out without referring to us.”
The Council reminded the Ministry of Awqaf in its letter of the text of Article 13 of the Antiquities Law, which states, “The National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters must pay any damage to archaeological sites and registered historical buildings, and the owner has no right to carry out repairs or restoration without the Council’s approval and without its supervision, and if it is demolished.” In this case the owner of the registered real estate or a part of it, if it was altered without the approval of the Council, is forced to rebuild the structure as it was, in addition to paying the penalties stipulated in this law.
In Parliament, MP Jenan Bushehri directed harsh criticism of what she called the governmental chaos, saying: “The historical monuments in the country are a national heritage that we must preserve for future generations and the Ministry of Awqaf distorted the Ali bin Hamad Heritage Mosque. Bushehri added, in a statement, “The Minister of Endowments must stop this tampering immediately, and punish those responsible who are not entrusted with the state’s legacy and its historical mosques.”