A technical crew has been sent to Panagia tis Assias church to assess the damage following the recent overflow of Gialias river and to organise as soon as possible restoration, the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage has said.
In a press release, the Committee also notes that a hydrological and geotechnical study it funded showed that dealing with the river overflow would necessitate large scale works on the river bank and on private properties of a huge cost which would also not fall within its mandate.
The Committee recalls that it has already implemented in two phases conservation works in order to prevent the 15th century church from collapsing with a cost of €407,374. The Committee`s contribution was 97.5%.
The Technical Committee, the press release clarifies, looked into the possibility of dealing with the flooding problem which has been a longstanding one, and funded a relevant hydrological and geotechnical study. “In the framework of the study it became evident that in order to deal with the phenomenon large scale works on the river bank and within tens of private properties would be necessary with an estimated cost of hundreds of thousands of euros,” it notes.
Beyond the huge economic cost this would entail, the implementation of such a project would also in itself be outside the Technical Committee`s mandate, it adds.
It also says that community and church authorities of Assia were at all times kept informed both on the works progress, the deliberations which took place and the decisions which were made following the conclusion of the hydrological study. They were also informed of the decision to safeguard the crosses of tombs in large crates within the church`s yard as well as for the reburial of the few remains that had been found during the works.
At the same time community authorities had been notified of the Technical Committee’s final position that given the inability to construct flood defences in the broader region, the only feasible interventions were the repair of the wall around the church and the construction of a retaining wall. “It was made clear that these interventions did not ensure that the church would not be flooded again if the adjacent rivers were to overflow,” the press release adds.
The Technical Committee, it stresses, “will not abandon Panagia tis Assias church”. Already, a technical crew has been sent on the site to assess the situation following the recent overflow of Gialias river and to organise as soon as possible the procedure for the restoration of damage caused.”