Cyprus is duty-bound to protect and highlight ecclesiastical monuments as an integral part of its culture and history, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said on Tuesday, when he went to oversee works on the Agios Georgios church in Mammari.
The ministry has rubberstamped €122,821 to cover the expenses for the ongoing works.
“Protecting and preserving our cultural heritage is part of our duty for the future generations to preserve religion as a characteristic of Hellenism.”
The church of Agios Georgios in Mammari village dates back to the second half of the 19th century and was declared a second schedule ancient monument in 1989. Conservation and restoration works of the church are currently underway.
It is a single-aisled basilica with a cross dome, built of yellowish limestone from the Gerolakkos area. The church was built in two phases. The oldest eastern half is placed in the second half of the 19th century without further information, while it was later extended to the west and consecrated in 1877 by the then Archbishop Sophronios. Its tall bell tower, one of the most characteristic bell towers in Cyprus, was constructed in 1925 by craftsman Nicolas Samaras from Kaimakli. Inside the church, on the north wall next to the carved wooden iconostasis, there is a large fresco of St. George the Trophy Bearer, dated 1906. East of the sanctuary under the churchyard is the “Tziuri”, as it has become known in popular tradition, an ancient carved tomb with six stone sarcophagi.
During the period 1990-1991, maintenance work was carried out on the bell tower by a crew of the department of antiquities. The work currently underway is being carried out by a private crew under the supervision of the department of antiquities. They began in November 2022 and are scheduled to be completed this year. Work will be carried out on both the church (interior, exterior and roof) and the precinct, including replacement of tiles and damp-proofing of the roof, maintenance of the exterior masonry, maintenance work on the existing windows and frames, partial uncovering of the stone masonry inside for moisture release purposes, elevation work on the “Tziuri”, disabled access and landscaping of the courtyard.