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Nicosia council orders Church to reconstruct demolished houses

The destroyed houses with the cathedral in the background (CNA)

The Nicosia municipal council on Saturday called for the immediate restoration of the listed buildings demolished by the Archbishopric earlier this week.

Archbishop Chrysostomos must also deposit a money guarantee which will be confiscated if the process of reconstructing the listed buildings as they were is not completed, the municipality added after taking a unanimous decision.

The amount of the deposit was set at €500,000, media reported earlier in the day but this was not confirmed in the announcement on Saturday evening from the municipality.

In addition, the reconstruction works are to be carried out under the supervision of a person with the appropriate qualifications, the municipality said. This role was assigned to Athena Aristotelous, former director of the department of urban planning and housing.

In case of non-compliance, administrative penalty procedures will be activated, the municipality added.

The church-sanctioned bulldozing of three listed buildings in old Nicosia on Monday has caused public outrage with the relevant authorities condemning the incident and immediately demanding for reconstruction.

On Saturday, Save Akamas / Save Cyprus community group visited the site and also denounced the Church’s decision in a social media post. The announcement included other actions taken by the Church that showed abuse of power, according to the groups.

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