UNDP to Restore Armenian Church in Turkish Occupied Cyprus

NICOSIA–The Armenian community of Cyprus filled the Utudjian Hall of the Armenian Prelature Tuesday night to listen to the UNDP’s plan on the restoration of the medieval Armenian church of Sourp Asdvadzadzin in occupied Nicosia.

Attending were the UNDP Program Manager for Cyprus, Jaco Cilliers, the project engineer Stefano de Vito, and the project architect Paolo Vitti as well as MP Vartkes Mahdessian and Father Momik Habeshian. The evening was hosted by the Chairman of the Diocesan Council Sebouh Tavitian.

A slide-show presentation was shown chronicling the history of the church and the adjacent monastery, as well as architectural information and pictures on the various stages at which the church building was built. The presentation also contained information on the Melikian mansion, which is also scheduled to be restored in parallel with the church.

The UNDP recently completed an 18-month long study to determine the feasibility of restoring the church. While conducting the study, survey plans were used, as well as pre-1963 photographs, which helped the team learn what was built where, when, and for what purpose.

According to the UNDP restoration team, the entire project will take about 18 months to complete. The final report envisages the restoration of the old buildings and their collapsed roofs.

They said the ultimate goal is not to restore the church as it was in the 17th or the 18th century, but to restore what remains in order to prevent further decay of the buildings.

The Melikian mansion wall will be re-built, and a new entrance will be opened from the north part of the complex to allow a better view of the impressive church and belfry.

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