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New Nicosia's Cathedral a threat for the architectural character of the Old Town
MOnuMENTA

The history and the architectural character of the Old Town of Nicosia are in danger due to the plans of Cyprus' Archbishop to build a new cathedral in the old town of Nicosia, close to the Archbishop’s Palace. The plan is to build a 26 metres high Cathedral in an area of narrow streets and low buildings.

Many authorities in Cyprus are highly critical of the published plans.  Scholars from the University of Cyprus, both from the Department of History and Archaeology and the Department of Architecture, but also the Cyprus Architects Association (CAA) stress out that a building of such proportions does not respect the character of this area and diminishes the historical and architectural value of the town, altering forever the "face" of Nicosia. Besides that the plan would “significantly disrupt the area’s existing road system” and that the accompanying car-park would “intensify the already serious traffic problem within the walls”. Besides the architects, also against the building of the cathedral are the Antiquities Authority since it is most likely that there are ancient ruins in the area, and the Department of Building and Housing. The Archbishops demands were also denied by the Municipality's Aesthetics Committee, the reason being that a huge building like that has no place in that specific area.

The final decision is to be taken by the local Municipality Board. The Board will be holding a meeting in the near future on whether or not to accept the Archbishops demands.

The citizens of Nicosia made a last effort to avoid the building of the new Cathedral within the old city by creating in Facebook the group «Help us to save the Old Nicosia from the destruction». Their aim is to recrew 5,000 members, in order to address the mayor of Nicosia, make her aware of the existence of the group and voice their reaction.

3/03/2009
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St. Ioannes, Nicosias' Cathedral
Credit: A. Vionis