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Top Italian architect in Madinah to assist Prophet's Mosque expansion
Saturday November 2, 2013 6:00 PM, IINA

A top international architect is currently visiting Madinah to provide advice on the expansion plans for the Prophet's Mosque and surrounding area.

Paolo Portoghesi is an Italian architect, theorist, historian and professor of architecture. Khalid Taher, the mayor of Madinah, had invited him to visit the city.

Portoghesi designed the Grand Mosque of Rome, the Grand Mosque in Strasburg, France, and various buildings in Italy, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom.

Taher said that Al-Amanat, the company overseeing the development, wants to draw on the experience and skills of world-class architects to work with Saudi consulting firms.

Taher said there are huge investment opportunities in the city for local and regional investors. He said there has been a steady flow of investment into the city for years.

"Portoghesi's visit is very important for us because he is a renowned architect who admires Islamic culture. He has proposed an overview of the architecture in Islamic countries," the mayor said.

He said such exchanges of expertise and visits would help planners add to the city's "architectural diversity."

He said Portoghesi's work blends classical and modern styles. "We had a discussion on various matters with special reference to the grandeur of Islamic architecture."

He said the Saudi government wants to ensure the expansion meets the needs of visitors.

The mayor said his office works closely with various government agencies to ensure projects are completed on time and meet quality standards.

He said there would be financial compensation for the owners of buildings making way for the expansion.

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