Three Killed After Ancient Wall at UNESCO World Heritage Site in Tunisia Collapses

Three masons who were carrying out repairs of the ancient walls around the Old City of Kairouan in Tunisia — a UNESCO world heritage — died after a section of the wall collapsed.

The incident happened on Saturday (Dec 16) after a 30m section of the wall near the Gate of the Floggers crashed to the ground.

The Kairouan medina, which is surrounded by massive city walls, was under renovation when an accident took place according to Tunisia’s Civil Protection.

“A team was carrying out restoration work” on the 3km (two mile) long wall that surrounds the Old City, department spokesperson Moez Tria told AFP, adding that the accident “could be linked to heavy rains in the area in recent days”.

Two more workers were said to be injured and have suffered fractures.

Site closed for public 

Tria said a perimeter had been set up to stop people from walking under part of the wall which is still at risk of further collapse.

Located in the centre of Tunisia in a plain at an almost equal distance from the sea and the mountain, Kairouan city was founded in 670 AD, and is one of North Africa’s holiest cities and a leading tourist attraction.

Its rich architectural heritage includes the Great Mosque, with its marble and porphyry columns, and the 9th-century Mosque of the Three Gates.

Historical significance 

It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, and is home to the Mosque of the Three Doors, the oldest known mosque with a sculpted façade.

The city was also considered the capital of the Muslim world in North Africa for four centuries, before Tunis was chosen as Tunisia’s political capital in the 12th century.

According to UNESCO, the mosque is “an architectural masterpiece that served as a model for several other Maghreban mosques”.

Kairouan bears unique witness to the first centuries of this civilisation and its architectural and urban development, UNESCO says in its website.

Source : WION

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