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Citizens protest planned construction of petrol station above Chrysospiliotissa

May 29, 2019 at 3:56pm

Citizens staged a protest on Wednesday morning over the planned construction of a petrol station above the the cave of Chrysospiliottisa in Kato Deftera.

The protesters gathered in the morning to prevent the construction work above the site. Police were also present.

According to philenews, the Department of Geological Surveys yesterday gave the green light for construction to start.

Residents in the area have staged protests before saying the historic cave housing the church near Kato Deftera on the outskirts of Nicosia was in danger of collapse because of the construction of a petrol station above it.

They became concerned after vibrations from the use of a road roller machine led to soil falling within the cave.

The Department of Geological Surveys said it would conduct checks on how the construction could affect the cave.

The church ‘Our Lady of the Golden Cave’ (dedicated to the Virgin Mary) is believed to date back to the early Christian period, and the shape of this small church inside a cave is very rare in Cyprus.

The decorated walls of the cave have suffered great damage and the frescoes are no longer visible, but a large religious festival is held on August 15, the day of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.

About 10 years ago, support work was carried out by the Antiquities Department, with grants from the Leventis Foundation and the late former president Tassos Papadopoulos.