By Rafaella Georgiou
Restoration work on the Apostolos Andreas monastery in Karpasia should begin immediately, Archibishop Chrysostomos said on Wednesday, now that a deal had been reached for the project to go ahead.
He said the Church fully supported the use of both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot contractors for the job.
At a news conference, Chrysostomos said the Church wanted the restoration work to begin immediately, “which is why the Church took the initiative to start cleaning the monastery and the surrounding area”.
The cleaning is expected to go on for the next 15 days but since August is usually a holiday month, actual work on the project might not start until September. The first phase is due to be completed after 22 months.
Chrysostomos expressed his belief that the restoration would finish earlier than expected.
He said the monastery has been emptied of all artifacts, along with the icon of Apostolos Andreas and placed in one of the rooms in the residence of the monastery’s abbot, which will be turned into a small chapel.
The icon of Apostolos Andreas will be exhibited in the abbot’s residence.
The Archbishop added that the restoration would cost €2.2 million, €300,000 less than the original €2.5 million estimation.
“Unfortunately, we have only gathered one million of the €2.5 million needed. The Archdiocese has obtained a loan for the remaining amount but financially, we are not in a good state,” he added. He also mentioned that the Church had hoped to obtain half a million from the overseas Cypriots but this was not possible at the moment, he said.
He said the monastery would be restored regardless of the public’s help but he said he was confident that once the work began, the faithful would support the effort any way they could.
The project is funded by the Church of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot religious Evkaf Foundation through two contribution agreements worth €2.5 million each. USAID also contributed $25,000.
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.