February 1, 2013
The Church of Cyprus and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) signed here today an agreement on the restoration of the historic monastery of Apostle Andreas, in the Turkish occupied Karpas peninsula.
The monastery will be restored according to a study prepared by the University of Patra, in Greece. The work will be in three phases and today’s agreement provides for the first phase at an estimated cost of 2.5 million euro.
In statements to the press, the Representative of the bicommunal technical committee for the cultural heritage Takis Hatzidemetriou described today’s agreement as “an historic day for saving the monastery of Apostle Andreas”.
He said that the monastery is both a monument and a symbol of the island’s tradition and culture, adding that the technical committee has worked hard to fulfill its objectives and today feels that all its efforts have paid off.
He stressed that the signing of the agreement also symbolizes the cooperation and team spirit of all those forces that wish to keep working for the conservation of the cultural heritage throughout Cyprus.
Karspas Bishop Christoforos said the agreement indicates that cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island is possible, expressing the hope that soon “we will be able to continue our joint work and cooperation without UN mediation.”
He said the Church is extremely pleased and enthusiastic with the outcome, noting that all the efforts have finally borne fruit.
Next week the final provisions of the agreement are going to be signed and once this is done, a call for tenders will be announced.
Bishop Christoforos could not say with certainty when the works will start, explaining that there are some procedures that need to be followed.