Last evening 19 December saw Pope Tawadros head to Boutrossiya church to inspect the repair and restoration work taking place on hand and foot there. The church, which is adjacent to St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Abbassiya, Cairo, was the scene of a suicide bombing on 11 December during Sunday Mass; 27 died and 49 were injured. http://en.wataninet.com/features/tourism/at-boutrossiya-church-egypts-heart-bleeds/18249/
The bomber was identified the 22-year-old Islamist Mahmoud Shafiq Muhammad Mustafa from Fayoum, and three of his accomplices were arrested. Upon President Sisi’s demand, the Armed Forces’ construction department is repairing and restoring the church so that it would be ready to host Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve; Copts celebrate Christmas on the 29th of the Coptic (Egyptian) month of Kiahk, 7 January. A team of Italian specialists in icon restoration will be handling the work on the icons which go back to the outset of the 20th century and were painted by the Italian Primo Panciroli.
The Boutrossiya, a church consecrated to St Peter and St Paul, was built by and remains under the care of the prominent Coptic Boutros-Ghali family. Under the church is a crypt that acts as a burial place for the family.