The two heads of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, Takis Hadjidemetriou and Ali Tuncay, raised the issue of the collapse of the church of Aghios Iakovos in Nicosia’s buffer zone, in separate meetings recently held with the President of the Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı respectively.
In a statement to the CNA, Takis Hadjidemetriou said that the restoration of the ancient temple, which collapsed after the recent rainfall, was the exclusive subject of discussion during the informational meeting he had with President Anastasiades last Wednesday.
The handling of the matter is beyond the capacity of the Technical Committee, as the church is in the buffer zone and there are Turkish troops, said Takis Hadjidemetriou.
The Greek Cypriot head of the Technical Committee also referred to Aghios Giorgios church in the buffer zone, saying that the adjacent church is in the same situation as Aghios Iakovos church and needs immediate intervention, a topic also raised at the meeting with the President of Cyprus.
The religious leaders of Cyprus support this cause
All five religious leaders issued a joint statement on the subject.
In their announcement, Archbishop Chrysostom II of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot Mufti Talip Atalay, Maronite Archeparch Joseph Soueif, Armenian Archbishop Khoren Doghramadjian, and Latin Patriarchal Vicar Jerzy Kraj are deeply disappointed as the ongoing joint efforts since 2014 did not manage to prevent this destruction.
The five religious leaders finally stated that they would remain united as brothers, committed to ensuring that all holy places of worship will be respected, protected and restored.