The TRNC’s Department of Religious Affairs have announced that they are pleased that the EVKAF religious foundation signed a protocol yesterday with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP-PFF) and the Church of Cyprus on the issue of restoring the monastery of Apostolos Andreas in the Karpas peninsula.
Talip Atalay, head of the religious affairs department, in a written statement, greeted the constructive approach made by Archbishop Chrysostomos II to subsidise financially the restoration of the occupied monastery of Apostolos Andreas, adding that he wishes the continuation of this cooperation.
He added that this cooperation is important to be carried also to the future and be adopted for all the cultural heritage of the worship places in Cyprus.
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.
Much needed repairs to the monastery had been delayed, when the Archbishop 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 total estimated cost of the three-stage restoration programme is 6 million euro; the Church of Cyprus has pledged 2.5 million euro.