Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has ordered the swift renovation of Tahrir Square as part of the Historic Cairo Project, according to Ahram Online news website.

The prime minister’s directives were given during a cabinet meeting attended by Housing Minister Assem El-Gazzar and the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ Secretary-General Mostafa Waziri.

Madbouly hailed the iconic square as one of the most famous in Egypt and the world.

“The government is interested in turning the square into a tourist destination,” he said, adding that there are directives from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to develop Old Cairo.

Steps are underway to relocate ministries and state bodies from downtown Cairo to the New Administrative Capital by next year, so the Historic Cairo Project can be implemented swiftly, he noted.

The major public thoroughfare was the location and focus of political demonstrations in Cairo in 2011.

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It was originally called Ismailia Square, after the 19th-century ruler Khedive Ismail, who built large parts of downtown Cairo

After the revolution of 1919 the square became widely known as Tahrir (Liberation) Square, but the square was not officially renamed as such until the 1952 revolution.