Damages at a mosque in Denia will be assessed within the week, after an arson attack on Sunday damaged the building, officials reported on Monday.
After examining the scene, the Greek Cypriot head of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, Takis Hadjidemetriou told CNA that the restoration will cost about five to six thousand euros.
The government has taken on the responsibility of fixing the damages to the building under the guidance of the person that had built it.
The technical committee and the UN Development Agency will oversee the project Hadjidemetriou said.
He added that this small mosque in Denia, which has been targeted three times, has important to the Technical committee as a symbol for embedding the coexistence.
“For many years we have been trying to create a climate of cooperation and coexistence, and now a criminal act comes along to destroy, not only the attempts of the Technical Committee, but of all the people,” Hadjidemetriou said.
He said that what is important now, is for the arsonists to be caught and punished. Hadjidemetriou added that if the culprits are not caught, than it will seem like a tantamount cover-up.
Turkish Cypriot head calls for culprits to be found
Ali Tuncay, the Turkish Cypriot Head of the Technical Committee, said that he expects the culprits of this incident to be identified and prosecuted.
This is a sad occasion, Tuncay said, noting that cultural heritage should be an area of cooperation, not of conflict.
Tuncay visited the site this morning, along with other members of the Technical Committee and according to his estimate, restoration work should last about 3-4 weeks.
“Monuments, regardless of their origin, are our common cultural heritage,” he concluded.
Archbishop condemns attack on Denia mosque
The Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II, has condemned unreservedly the arson attack against a recently restored mosque, in the village of Denia, in Nicosia District.
Such acts against places of worship, whether they are Christian, or Muslim or other, “do not characterise the people of our land, neither do they relate to our culture and our civilization,” the Archbishop points out.
Condemnation from the President
“Such criminal acts, wherever they come from and whatever objective they have, succeeded only in causing problems to efforts to end Turkey's occupation and reunite our country,” a government statement said on Sunday.
The statement said the President had given instructions to the Minister of Justice and the Chief of police to find the culprits as soon as possible. Moreover, it is noted, the Interior Ministry was instructed to carry out repairs immediately, it added.
Omirou: Only serve as a reminder of the division on our island
House President Yiannakis Omirou also condemned the actions on Monday saying that it is only a reminder of the occupation and racial divides on the island.
Akinci: Culprits don’t want to see a unified island
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has condemned the attack on the mosque, saying that the culprits need to be caught as soon as a possible.
He added that the culprits want to damage the process of settling the Cyprus problem and that they don’t want to see the island unified.
Denia mosque was restored as part of the mission of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage. Work at the mosque in Denia village, of Nicosia district, began in 2012, and was completed in 2014.
The project was implemented by the United Nations Development Programme Partnership for the Future (UNDP-PFF) and cost approximately 123,667 euro, including works, design, supervision and additional works to the roof and was fully funded by the EU.