June 2018 the Coptic Church will be marking 50 years on the opening of St Mark’s Cathedral in Abbassiya, Cairo. A grand celebration is planned, which will witness the opening by Pope Tawadros II of a newly-restored, fully-renovated cathedral.
The façade of St Mark’s will feature new mosaics which will be unveiled during the opening. Artisans, technicians, and structure engineers are now working round the clock to have the mosaics ready for the opening.
Artists Medhat Helmy and Yvonne Tawadros were chosen by the cathedral’s renovation committee to execute the mosaics for the western, northern and southern façades, which were designed in Coptic art by Tassoni (Sister) Sawsan who also designed the stained glass windows of the cathedral.
The mosaic on the western façade which holds the doors to the cathedral, Mr Helmy said, features a sun in the centre symbolising Jesus Christ, the ‘Sun of Righteousness’, shining His light over all the world. On top stands a large-size Coptic gilded cross. Right and left, angels hold olive branches symbolising peace and love, according to the teachings of the Bible: “On earth peace to those on whom his favour rests”.
“Below,” Ms Tawadros explained, “right above the Cathedral door, there are three images of angels carrying musical instruments: a trumpet, a tambourine and a harp. They praise the Lord, holding the letters ‘Alpha’ and ‘Omega’: Jesus Christ; the Beginning and the End.”
24 April 2018