Cyprus Mail

Cyprus, Greece and Israel cooperate for restoration and preservation of religious sites

Transport Minister Marios Demetriades

The management of cultural heritage, archaeological and religious included, is a very important element for the development of Cyprus and the broader South Eastern Mediterranean region, which is generally full of cultural wealth, Transport Minister Marios Demetriades has said.

The minister was speaking at an international symposium of Cyprus, Greece, and Israel: Restoration and preservation of religious sites and places of worship, organised by the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK) and the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), held in the presence of Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos III, in Nicosia.

Demetriades said that the management of cultural wealth affects both the political and social life, and through the integration of historical knowledge in the daily life of citizens, it enhances the identity on a local and international level.

Therefore, he said, “considering the multiple role of cultural heritage in modern society, I believe that the promotion of culture and supportive actions that strengthen this role should be a priority”.

In his address, Education Minister Costas Kadis said the partnership between ETEK and TEE aims to highlight the role and contribution of the cultural and religious heritage in the development of the broader South Eastern Mediterranean region.

This constructive initiative, he noted, follows an event held in Athens last June with the involvement of the Union of Architects and Engineers of Israel.

“This tripartite cooperation confirms in the most practical manner, the will of the three countries for a multilevel cooperation in key areas such as culture, tourism, energy, research, environment, etc., which results in significant growth prospects for each country, ” he added.

Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III said that religious architecture expresses perfectly the deep relationship between religion as the heart of human existence and the aspirations of mankind, and the everyday life of modern people.

He noted that the initiative of the Jerusalem Patriarchate to carry out a study on the maintenance and restoration of the Sacred Canopy of the Holy Sepulchre highlights the role of the Church in the protection and promotion of the religious heritage of the South Eastern Mediterranean peoples, especially Christians.

In his address, read by Neapolis Bishop Porphyrios, Archbishop Chrysostomos said the strategic partnership between ETEK and TEE is particularly important for both Cyprus and Greece.

“Such cooperation will lay the foundations for independent development that is so necessary for the countries of the South Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.

Cyprus and Greece, he added, as EU members will be able to play a very crucial role using their close relations and their cooperation with Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.

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