Earlier this week, a row of buildings on Isokratous Street in old Nicosia, next to an under-construction cathedral, were partially demolished.
This action undertaken by Cyprus’ Orthodox Church has been widely condemned, and described as an “unlawful” action.
The office of Archbishop Chrysostomos II Of Cyprus told The Associated Press that a letter was dispatched to Nicosia municipal authorities promising to restore the church-owned homes to their original state.
According to reports, last weekend’s bad weather damaged the houses, deeming them a safety hazard.
“If a structure of such historical and architectural significance is deemed dangerous, owners are obliged to obtain a licence for its immediate repair in order to ensure its stability and keep it from collapsing, and to ensure the safety of residents and visitors” the interior ministry said.
Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis called the demolition an illegal, hasty and unfortunate action.
“This act to demolish the homes was truly unacceptable. It genuinely saddens us whenever a piece of our cultural heritage is lost,” he said.
Attorney General George Savvides said he would look into matter to determine if there’s a potential legal course of action that may be pursued.