Sofia Mosque Repair Stopped over Slow BureaucracyCulture | August 18, 2012, Saturday // 13:10| views
Sofia's Banya Bashi mosque is famous for its large dome, diameter of 15 meters, and the minaret rising upward to the sky. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
The repair works on the Banya Bashi mosque in Bulgaria's capital Sofia have been stopped, Bulgarian Deputy Chief Mufti Vedat Ahmed has warned.
The historical building was damaged by the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Sofia in May 2012. Even though the repair has started, it had to be stopped, since the Sofia Municipality is yet to issue the necessary statement of findings, Ahmed has told the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency.
The Deputy Chief Mufti is concerned about the organization of tomorrow's special Ramazan Bayram? prayer that has to take place in Banya Bashi, as the space inside the mosque is very limited due to the repair works that started.
If the necessary documentation is not issued on time, the repair of Sofia's sole mosque might take years, he said.
A Sofia municipality construction official has told the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency that repair works will be carried out in a manner that will not lead to the mosque being closed down for prayers.
The Banya Bashi Mosque (Banya Ba?? Camii) is a remnant of the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria that lasted nearly five centuries, and is used by the city's Muslim community. It is designed by famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan and has the status of cultural monument.
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