Church ready to pay up for monastery restoration


THE CHURCH of Cyprus is ready to pay to restore the crumbling Apostolos Andreas monastery in the occupied Karpas peninsula, Archbishop Chrysostomos II said yesterday.

The church is expected to put in the €2.5 million necessary for the first phase of a three-stage restoration process that is due to cost in total an estimated €6.0 million.

The Primate said that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was ready to go to tender to launch restoration works according to a study by Greece’s 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.

After years of failing to reach consensus on the restoration of the site, of great religious importance to Greek Orthodox pilgrims, the Turkish Cypriot side announced earlier this year they were going ahead with the restoration on their own.

The Primate had previously said he would rather let the monastery collapse than undersign any agreement that did not explicitly state that the site belonged to the Church of Cyprus.

But after the Turkish Cypriot move, the UN announced in late January that the project was going 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 religious foundation EVKAF.