Greek church will fund monastery restoration in TRNC

Following an announcement that the TRNC would be going ahead with the restoration of Apostolos Andreas monastery in the Karpas, funded by Turkey, the Church of Cyprus finally decided that it would pay 2.5 million euro towards the first phase of a three stage restoration process; the total cost is estimated at 6 million euro.

A bi-communal committee organised to oversee restorations to the 17thC monastery was formed in 2008, however, the Church of Cyprus would not fund the works because the UN programme for the building named the Church only as donor and not owners.

At one stage, South Cyprus Archbishop Chrysotomos said that he would rather see the building fall into ruins than under-sign any agreement that did not explicitly state that the site belonged to the Church of Cyprus.

Fortunately, he reconsidered that option when the United Nations formulated, in late January, a proposal that the project would go ahead on a “multi-donor partnership” allowing more than one donor to fund the project. The UNDP has signed separate protocol agreements with the Church of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot EVKAF’s  religious foundation EVKA.

The long overdue restoration works will follow an architectural study by the Greek University of Patras.

The Archbishop said the Church was ready to pay in as soon as the project was ready to begin.

“The whole process will take place through the United Nations, and the blueprints adopted by the UNDP, and no one will be able to bypass,” Chrysostomos said.

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