By George Psyllides
WORK to restore the Apostolos Andreas monastery in the occupied north is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, officials said on Friday.
Restoration of the monastery is a bicommunal project mainly funded by the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot Evkaf religious administration.
Located on the island’s easternmost tip, on the Karpas peninsula, the monastery is in urgent need of repair and it had taken years to reach an agreement on its restoration.
Takis Hadjidemetriou, the head of the bicommuncal technical committee on cultural heritage, said 50 per cent of the project has been completed.
“Work is progressing well,” he told reporters during a visit to mark one year since the project started. “Construction of a section of the church that was never completed is also progressing.”
Hadjidemetriou said it was the first stage of restoration, which included the core of the monument, focusing on the church.
The contract provides that the core would be ready by April.
“We hope if everything goes well that the whole monastery will be ready by the end of 2017,” he said.
The second stage includes a medieval monastery and the northern building of the church.
Hadjidemetriou said what was important was that the project was a joint Greek and Turkish Cypriot venture.
“It is a co-operation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and I can say that it is a model. Our aim is to employ it in other areas and other monuments also,” he added.
The cost of the project is expected to reach €6m.