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Parliamentary questions
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5 December 2019
E-004245/2019
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Costas Mavrides
 Subject: Desecration of the Churches of Panagia Odigitria and Panagia Pergaminiotissa

The historic church of Panagia Odigitria in occupied Nicosia was for centuries the cathedral of Orthodox Christians in Cyprus. During the Ottoman period (1571-1878) it was converted into a market and warehouse, but in 2009 it was restored with EU funding. Instead of reverting to its use as a religious site, it now serves as a venue for various events, e.g. Dervish dance festivals and music festivals. In addition, the church of Panagia Pergaminiotissa in occupied Akanthou, which was looted during the Turkish invasion in 1974 and later rebuilt, functions illegally as an Environmental Museum issuing entrance tickets to visitors; however, the occupying regime refuses to allow religious rites to be celebrated there.

In view of this, will the Commission say:

Is it aware that the two churches that have been restored have been used for several years for non-religious purposes?

Since the two churches have been used for profane purposes for many years, what action has been taken to put an end to this abuse by the annex of the Commission Office operating in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus which is responsible for overseeing such projects?

At this late stage, what action will the Commission take to ensure that such churches are protected and used for the purposes for which they were intended, as the European funds management framework requires?

Original language of question: EL
Last updated: 20 December 2019Legal notice