Two Cypriot Churches on Turkish Side Will be Conserved

A full moon rises over a Christian Orthodox church during a complete lunar eclipse in Ergates village near capital Nicosia, Cyprus, late Friday, July 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Two churches on the northern third of Cyprus being unlawfully occupied by Turkey since a 1974 invasion will be conserved using European Union subsidies under monitoring by a bi-communal technical committee on culture.

The churches are in the Famagusta district and work is expected to begin in September to conserve the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Assia, for 270,000 euros and of Ayios Artemonas church in Afania for 200,000 euros, media reports said.

The work will take eight to 10 months, the Cypriot head of the committee told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) and that contract bids would be sought soon for the second and third phase of restoration works for the monastery of Apostolos Andreas in the Karpasia peninsula, for a medieval chapel, adjacent buildings and landscaping.

“We are ready for the bidding process, which will take some months,” he said.

The renovated church of Apostolos Andreas was handed over to the committee in November 2016 after the completion of its two-year restoration.

The first phase of the project was delivered to the committee by the United Nations Development Programme-Partnership for the Future (UNDP-PFF), which is overseeing the four-phase restoration of the whole monastery complex according to designs drawn up by the University of Patras.

In 2013, UNDP-PFF signed two agreements worth 2.5 million euros each with the Church of Cyprus and the Evkaf administration, responsible for Turkish Cypriot properties, for the restoration of the Apostolos Andreas monastery complex. USAID also donated 25,000 euros.