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Cairo denounces Hagia Sophia move, develops Egypt's Christian sites

Days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared Istanbul’s historic Hagia Sophia a mosque, Egypt announced ambitious restoration plans for South Sinai's Saint Catherine area.
This picture taken on October 19, 2018 shows a view of the exterior of the 6th-century Greek Orthodox Christian monastery of Saint Catherine, near the Egyptian town of the same name in south of the Sinai peninsula. (Photo by Sally KANDIL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SALLY KANDIL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered that Istanbul’s historic Hagia Sophia be converted back into a mosque July 11. On July 21, the Egyptian government announced that it was allocating 40 million Egyptian pounds ($2.5 million) to restore Saint Catherine’s Monastery in South Sinai governorate, one of the oldest monasteries in the world and a Christian landmark.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly visited Saint Catherine’s on July 21 and met with the monks there who awarded the Order of Saint Catherine. During his visit, Madbouly announced that restoration and development works for Saint Catherine's Monastery and the nearby city in South Sinai would begin immediately.

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