“We are not donors – we are owners”: says Archbishop

Following an announcement that the TRNC will fund restoration work on the complex at Apostolos Andreas Monastery, Archbishop Chrysostomos II stated that he would rather see the monastery collapse than let go of the property. “The property is ours”, he said.

Yesterday, the Archbishop reiterated that he would be willing to let the historic monastery collapse rather than sign any plan that does not recognise the Church of Cyprus as the owner.

The TRNC has blamed delays of the restoration on the intransigence of the Greek Cypriots. The Archbishop, in turn, blames the bicommunal technical committee, created in 2008 to be be responsible for protecting the island’s cultural heritage; claiming that it had done nothing and that its attitude was “negative”.

The committee has been co-ordinating Apostolos Andreas’ restoration efforts for the past year.

But the Church has refused to co-operate because a document prepared by the United Nations Development Programme names them only as donors.

“We are not donors, we are owners,” the Archbishop said adding that he was willing to pay to fix the church but not if it meant foregoing the Church’s rights.

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