Restoration work in Apostolos Andreas monastery in the occupied Karpas peninsula is expected to start in January 2014, according to the representative of the Greek Cypriot side at the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage Takis Hatzidimitriou.

After briefing MP’s of the Parliamentary Committee on Refugees on the issue, Hatzidimitriou said that two agreements were signed that will allow the monastery’s restoration.

As he explained, the first agreement was signed by representatives of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and the Director of the United Nations development program (UNDP,) and include all the details for the implementation of the project. He added that the second agreement, concerning funding of the restoration, was signed by the Church of Cyprus, UNDP and the Directory of UNDP in New York.

Hatzidimitriou also said some last data are collected, before proceeding with the invitation to tenders. He furthermore expressed the hope that the process of tendering and tender evaluation will be completed by the end of 2013, so hopefully the restoration could start at the beginning of next year.

He also expressed the hope that everyone will respect their signatures.

The Monastery, which was once the pride of all Cypriots, has fallen into a state of deterioration, following the Turkish invasion in 1974. The agreement signed a week ago envisages to restore the Monastery by 2017.

The project is funded by the Church of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot Evkaf administration (with 2.5 million euro each) and with a contribution of 25,000 USD from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the subsequent occupation of the island have taken a heavy toll on Cyprus’ cultural heritage despite existing internationally binding treaties regarding the protection of cultural heritage.

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