Mosque developer plans museum devoted to Islam - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Mosque developer plans museum devoted to Islam

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The developer who once proposed a mosque and Muslim community center near ground zero now plans a museum devoted to Islam at the same site.

According to The New York Times, Sharif El-Gamal said through a spokesman he wants to build a three-story museum "dedicated to exploring the faith of Islam and its arts and culture."

He said in a statement that he commissioned French architect Jean Nouvel to design a 5,000-square-foot museum. The building also would include a sanctuary for prayer services and community programs.

It's unclear how El-Gamal would fund the project.

Spokesman Hank Sheinkopf would only say that El-Gamal would initially finance it himself and hoped to find other benefactors.

No timetable was given. Buildings at 45 Park Place and 51 Park Place, two blocks from the World Trade Center site, would need to be demolished first.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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