Prophet's Mosque architectural archive offered in private sale

An archive of architectural drawings and photographs relating to the expansion of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina will star in a private sale in London facilitated by Sotheby's.

Fahmy Moemen Bey, an Egyptian architect, produced the designs after King Ibn Saud commissioned him to the project in 1951.

prophet mosque
The Prophet's Mosque is the second holiest site in Islam

Richard Fattorini, director of books and manuscripts at Sotheby's, told Al Arabiya News (an Arabic news site): "Some of the plans actually detail life-size drawings depicting how the marbles, windows, arches and decorations of the columns and the pillars are going to be decorated and carved.

"They're the architect's own linen...

"They were rolled and unrolled everyday on the building sites, at the mosque, as the project was being done."

He described it as "an educational tool...for people to understand Islamic architecture and design. You can imagine that the price is commensurate with the rarity and uniqueness of this archive."

There is no estimate available for the lot but the importance of the site (the mosque is the second holiest place in Islam) is likely to ensure a strong sale.

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