Tariq al-Thaqafi reports for Asharq al-Awsat:
The Saudi Commission for Tourism & Antiquities (SCTA) has revealed its forthcoming plans for historical sites in the holy city of Mecca, pledging that these will be in line with strict Islamic laws regarding the administration of heritage sites. SCTA announced that the historical site of the Bir Tawa water well has been registered as one of its certified antiquities.
According to Abdullah al-Sawat, Executive Director of Mecca’s SCTA branch, Bir Tawa has been registered in accordance with Royal Decree No. 3212, stipulating the preservation of antiquities in a manner that does not sanctify or glorify them.
Responding to questions raised by Asharq al-Awsat, al-Sawat said that this move was based on directives issued by Prince Sultan Bin Salman, Chairman of SCTA. He indicated that SCTA plans to administer Islamic heritage sites in Mecca in line with Islamic Sharia law and based on a vision bestowed upon them by God Almighty and the Kingdom’s leaders, who are keen to apply this.
So after destroying many important Islamic sites in Mecca and Medina, including houses of the Prophet and his companions, now they want to save a water well? Okay.
Please note that this preservation must “not sanctify or glorify” the site and that it is “in line with Islamic Sharia law and based on a vision bestowed upon them by God Almighty and the Kingdom’s leaders, who are keen to apply this.” This is probably code for: the site will not be open to visitors.