Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nicosia, Cyprus: Work begins to restore old Armenian cemetery

A couple of years ago the Armenian Apostolic Church in Cyprus sold the old Armenian Cemetery in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. A developer was going to construct a shopping mall or something of that sort. The remains found in the cemetery were supposed to be buried together in one grave. I don't know if any of my ancestors were buried in that cemetery or not - I think the survivors of Metz Yeghern were buried there - my ancestors fled to Cyprus after Cilicia fell.

There was a major outcry when this sinister plan came to light after the construction work started with the gravestones broken and destroyed. The church fought the allegations but there was a lot more negative publicity than they could handle.

Today I read a news item that the Armenian community and the Cypriot government have started restoring the cemetery.

This was another example of the church's greed. This time, though, they got what they deserved as they are paying for some of the work out of the church's pocket.
Work begins to restore old Armenian cemetery
By Rula Aweidah

WORK for the reconstruction of the derelict old Armenian cemetery near the Ledra Palace is to begin in earnest next week.

A contract has been granted complete the renovation and construction of the cemetery, the tombs, the exterior wall as well as the chapel in the cemetery.

Back in 2006, the Armenian Prelature had started digging up graves in order to put remains together in a new communal grave in the new Armenian cemetery on the outskirts of the capital. But the workers simply started breaking up old historic tombs, damaging headstones and exposing bones, sparking outrage among the community.

Soon after the municipality delivered a court order stopping the work, and instructing those responsible to restore the site, but nothing was done and the cemetery fell into even greater disrepair.

Finally after two years, renovations are now ready to take place.

“The preliminary work is complete, all the permissions are in place, and the work will be done by architects who are all professionals,” explained the Armenian representative at the House, Vartkes Mahdessian. The project was awarded two weeks ago. “They will start work 100 per cent next week,” he said.

The whole project was made possible by a subsidy that was received from the Cyprus government, as well as a big amount contributed by the Armenian Church. It is foreseen that the completion of the cemetery will be complete in about twelve months.

Mahdessian said: “The boundary wall will be restored again, the small church will be renovated, all the graves will be back in their original places and the ones that are unidentified will all be placed in a common grave, which will have all their names inscribed.”

“This will be something we as Armenians and Cypriots will be proud of,” Mahdessian added.


Garen said...

this is interesting article. Why not add it to khosq?

Haik said...

I hope the time for AGBU CB will come soon as well to return the money to Melkonian Trust and hand over the Managment of the school to Armenian community, to whom it really belongs to.
The time will come sooner or later there is no doubt in it.
I have a strong feeling that the Armenian banditocracy is very tightly linked to the diaspora bandits, bandits like Sedrakian, Luiz Simon and that dodgy type.

reflective said...

I think we should blame Serj and Rob for the Genocide, the exile of Armenians to Cyprus, and the division of the island in 74. They plotted the invasion as teenagers.

Down with the bandits!! All problems we have on earth are due to these two.

garen said...

The way that I see it, the corruption of AGBU, HayastanFund and other diasporic organizations especially in recent decade is an extension of the corruption of governance in the Republic. Even the Melkonian crises can be traced to specific policies and dealings that Kocharian administration had toward the disapora's organizations.

But there is also that age old Armenian-version-of-Zionist mentality that focuses it's efforts and resources on "Hayastanification" of the Diaspora in light of the regained statehood. It's an attitude that cannot see strength and beauty in diversity and understands unity and synonymous with unanimity -- It crashes local communities with total disregard of Diasporan and highly localised cultures, languages and trends.