The restored monastery of Apostolos Andreas in the Karpas peninsula in the north will be delivered on Monday to the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.
The delivery of Phase A was announced by the Greek Cypriot co-chairman of the Technical Committee Takis Hadjidemetriou on his personal account on Facebook .
Hadjidemetriou noted that the committee in turn would deliver the monastery to the people with all the symbolism it entialed, including the fact that the project was the result of cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, Christians and Muslims.
“Apostolos Andreas is now a beacon lighting up the path of our people for a better future. It is a beacon that also lights up the way of the the leaders for the reunification of our country. The 7th of November is a day of joy and hope,” he wrote in his message.
In earlier statements to CNA, Hadjidemetriou said pilgrims would get the chance to visit the newly-restored monastery during celebrations for the Apostle`s feast day on November 30.
The icons were thoroughly cleaned and the inside of the church and the pulpit have been completed, he said.
On September 17, 201, UNDP-PFF signed two contribution agreements worth €2.5 million each, respectively with the Church of Cyprus and the Evkaf Administration, which is responsible for Turkish Cypriot properties, for the restoration of the Apostolos Andreas monastery.
The restoration, according to UNDP, intends to contribute to the ongoing confidence building process between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots within the context of cultural heritage preservation and protection. The restoration of the monastery will take place in four phases.
The icons were kept at a temporary hall which was turned into a chapel for pilgrims and is under the watchful eye of Father Zacharias Georgiou, who has been looking after the monastery, to the extent that he could, since the 1974 Turkish occupation.
The monastery is situated on the north-eastern point of the island. A landmark for the Orthodox Greek Cypriots who would often travel for up to two days to reach this holy site, the monastery was neglected after the 1974 Turkish invasion.
Work on the first phase began in autumn 2014.