Historic monastery in Turkish Cyprus near collapse
A historic monastery where an apostle of Jesus Christ is said to have performed miracles is close to caving in and needs immediate repairs, the leader of Greek Cyprus’ Orthodox Christian Church said Monday.
Archbishop Chrysostomos II urged Greek Cypriot pilgrims not to travel to the Apostolos Andreas – or Saint Andrew – monastery in Turkish Cyprus for fear it could collapse.
He said if Turkish Cypriot authorities didn’t act fast, he would dispatch restoration crews to prop up the monastery’s crumbling central archway, possibly stoking tensions on the divided island.
Chrysostomos account was immediately disputed by Turkish Cypriot officials, who say authorities are keen to protect the island’s cultural heritage and a restoration program is already under way.
“(The monastery) is vital for us, we see this as part of the common cultural heritage of Cyprus,” official Kudret Özersay said, adding that protecting such monuments is key for Turkish Cypriots to generate tourism revenue.
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