So, remember that whole "Ground Zero Mosque" hullabaloo from last summer, which spurred a polarizing debate about a proposed Islamic community center for lower Manhattan that wasn't actually at Ground Zero? Newt Gingrich once said it was, "designed to undermine and destroy our civilization," while Mayor Bloomberg said, "I think it's fair to say that the mosque as an issue goes away on November 3 [the day after election day]." While it's pretty obvious Bloomberg was right, Gingrich and his fellow anti-mosque contingent may be happy to learn that the Saudi royal family is feeling out officials and community leaders about a plan to move the mosque to the West the shuttered St. Vincent's Medical Center.

Attorney Dudley Gaffin is claiming that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has started making inquiries into buying the St. Vincent's plot of land, and building the mosque on part of the site. Interestingly, Gaffin claims Abdullah would also save the hospital, reopening most of the units that closed after the hospital shutdown last spring. Sources tell the Post that Gaffin, a trial lawyer and senior partner in Gaffin & Mayo, has turned into a one-man representative for the royals: "He's asking what it would take to put in a bid. He says the king wants to do this as a p.r. move -- to save the hospital and move the mosque away from the World Trade Center site. He wants to show that Muslims can do good works," said one community leader who did not want to be identified.

The whole project would cost more than $300 million, and the mosque and cultural center would likely be built in a space now occupied by a shuttered nursing facility on 12th Street, just east of Seventh Avenue. But the whole thing is shrouded in secrecy thus far: sources claimed Gaffin has spoken with Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, but reps for both denied it. Another source, a politically connected lawyer, told the Post that, "[Gaffin is] talking about the Saudis...I don't know if any conversations have taken place [with them]." Abdullah, who is currently in NYC recuperating from back surgery, previously said he would not get involved with the Ground Zero mosque.