Man tries to sell fake Kaaba Kiswa for Dh7.8 million

Man tries to sell fake Kaaba Kiswa for Dh7.8 million

The ad for selling the fake Kiswa used the name of the renowned Al Sheebi family to inspire trust.

By Web Report

Published: Mon 19 Mar 2018, 1:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 19 Mar 2018, 3:34 PM

In an incident that borders on shameless profiteering, a man in Saudi Arabia posted an advertisement online, claiming to be selling an authentic piece of the Kaaba's Kiswa made in 1412 AH (1991), for 8 million Saudi Riyal (Dh7.8m). 
The ad which sported images of the so-called Kiswa piece, used the name of the Al Sheebi family, historically a family of caretakers for the Kaaba, to give it authenticity, reported Medan Al Akhbar.
He also claimed that he owned a certificate issued by the Emirate of Makkah Province authorising him to sell the cloth.  
The ad was deleted after a newspaper contacted the online advertising agency that had published it. 
The man posting the ad claimed to be doing so at the behest of an important personality who had authorised him to sell various items of rare and archeological value, as per Makkah report.
A spokesperson for the Al Sheebi family denied any ties to the so-called Kiswa piece.
Abdul Malik Al Sheebi said that many con artists use the name of Al Sheebi family to inspire trust in such holy artefacts. 
No certificate which authorises such sales is issued by the Emirate, said Sultan Al Dosari, a spokesperson from the province. Such claims will be subject to official litigation and thoroughly investigated, Al Dosari warned. 
The actual kiswa remains under the purview of the Saudi government and is stored in protected warehouses after the cloth is replaced. 
The replacement takes place every year, like clockwork, on Zul Hijjah 9, one day before Eid Al Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice). 
Once the Kiswa is taken down, artisans proceed to carefully remove the nearly 120kg of gold plated silver wires embroidery on  the 670kg black silk covering.  
The cloth and artefacts are then subjected to preservation techniques that prevent them from succumbing to mildew or other corrosive factors.           
Dr Mohamed Bagouda, director of the Kaaba Kiswa factory, said that their job entails the production of a new kiswa every year, and handing over the old Kiswa to the preservation committees. 
Many such ads were reported over the years, claiming to sell authentic pieces of the Kiswa, he added. 
Many such counterfeit cloth items are commonly produced in India, Egypt, Turkey, London (UK), and Paris (France). 
There are six criteria by which authorities determine the Kiswa cloth is authentic:
1- The history of the cloth
2- Tracking how the current owner came to own it
3- Ownership papers/documents and their authenticity
4- Comparison between the cloth and a verified artefact
5- Analysing the composite materials - the cloth or wire
6- Integrity of the cloth and its general presentation.

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