Damage caused by vandals in the Agios Panteleimonas Monastery, in Turkish-occupied Myrtou, will be restored soon with the contribution of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot volunteers, Takis Hadjidemetriou, the Greek Cypriot Head of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage has said.
Speaking to CNA, Hadjidemetriou noted that the Technical Committee recently paid a visit to the area to inspect the damage and plan for the necessary repairs and their cost. The Technical Committee decided to implement a programme for the monastery’s maintenance and protection, he added.
The issue was reported last month in the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi. As the Head of the Technical Committee said, vandals broke the entrance doors and window panes, caused damage to the fencing, and painted non-political graffiti on the walls.
Moreover, it was discovered that one of the church bells was missing, he said however that this is not related to the vandalism and the case is being investigated separately.
Hadjidemetriou said that damages will be restored by the Technical Committee, in cooperation with UNDP and civil society, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. “There are volunteers who want to show with their participation that society doesn’t tolerate or accept these things,” he added.
Moreover, he noted that the premises are not guarded and that the Technical Committee is thinking about adding guards.
With the exception of damages in Deneia mosque, he said that there have been few incidents of vandalism in monuments restored by the Technical Committee.
EU funds will be sought to cover for the cost of the restoration, Hadjidemetriou concluded.
A few days ago, DIKO and S&D MEP Costas Mavrides also protested the incident to the European Commission, asking whether it has been thoroughly investigated. He also asks the European Commission about its actions to protect monuments in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus which are being restored with EU taxpayers’ money.
(Cyprus News Agency)