A huge disused industrial area in Turin, one of the biggest cities in northern Italy, will soon host a large Islamic cultural center with a mosque.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): A huge disused industrial area in Turin, one of the biggest cities in northern Italy, will soon host a large Islamic cultural center with a mosque.
The city council sold the former Nebbiolo complex on Tuesday for just over €1 million ($1.1 million). This large area in the “Motown” industrial zone, very close to the old Fiat car workshops, now belongs to the Italian Islamic Foundation “Al-Waqf,” which already runs the Mohammed VI mosque on via Genova in the center of the city.
The Nebbiolo workshop, formerly an iron foundry, had been left abandoned for several years. Production in this old-fashioned industrial site ended in the 1970s due to a financial crisis.
The City Council bought it, but it took a long time before Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino decided for a new destination of use for the area, which will now finally come into a new life.
Half of the surface of the site (equal to 5,322 sq m) will be developed into residences for students with reduced rates.
The City Council Foundation and Al-Waqf formally agreed that it will be open to undergraduate and postgraduate students “from any university and institute,” without restrictions on access linked to religion.
The rest of the property will host an Islamic cultural center where courses and recreational and cultural activities will be organized, “for the promotion of knowledge of Islamic culture among Italian citizens,” Al-Waqf said in a statement.
The center will be run in coordination with another that was inaugurated in 2013 in via Genova, the first place of worship for Muslims opened in the city.
Activities such as language courses, seminars, public meetings, open debates and visits to Islamic places of worship will be organized in various reading and meeting rooms. The facilities “will be open to all the citizens of Turin,” including a major exhibition room.
The ground floor of the structure, which overlooks the iconic Corso Novara street, will be used as a prayer and meeting room.
“Recovering a space that had been abandoned for years with a nice project linked to the university residence, study rooms, spaces for associations and prayer spaces is an excellent result for the city and for the neighborhood,” Antonino Iaria, city planning councilor of the Municipality of Turin, told Arab News.
Turin already hosts 15 mosques. Nearly 60,000 Muslim live in the city and half of them hail from Morocco.