Akdamar church restoration nears completion

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- Officials have said the restoration of a 10th-century Armenian church located on Akdamar Island in eastern Turkey’s Lake Van is about to be completed.

The walls of the church, the work on which has so far cost TL 1,100,000, have been renovated in line with the original design.

Known in English as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the church was in ruins and on the verge of collapse. However, by order of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism started a restoration project in 2005 to preserve the historical identity of the church. The church has since become a destination for domestic and international tourists since being opened as a museum by the ministry after its first restoration was completed in 2007.

The second restoration project started in April of last year on the ruins of the church’s monastic buildings.

Adnan Vural, owner of Alfin Construction, which carried out the restoration of the church, said the work is nearly finished.

Religious services have been held inside the church four times. The last time a religious service took place in the church was in September of last year. Armenians from Turkey, Holland, Austria, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, US, Iran and Armenia had come to attend the services. Several foreign diplomats in Turkey had also attended the event.

(CihanToday’s Zaman)

SOURCE: CIHAN