Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos is under strong fire by authorities and society at large after the unprecedented order he gave on Monday for four listed buildings in old Nicosia to be demolished.
The reason behind this illegal move was because the old buildings of cultural wealth were blocking his view of the under-construction ostentatious new cathedral there, Philenews reports.
Outrage from the public but also from organised groups such as the island’s Technical Chamber and Architects Association prompted the intervention on Tuesday of Attorney General George Savvides.
Savvides asked to be briefed on this surprise demolition by both Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Giorkadjis and Interior Minister Nicos Nouris.
In letters sent to both officials, Savvides underlined that the demolition of listed buildings is a criminal offence and that their restoration should take place the soonest possible.
Nouris told state radio on Wednesday morning that a letter has already been sent to the Archbishop demanding that the partially demolished buildings are restored immediately.
At the same time, Giorkadjis said the Archbishop told him he intends to restore the listed buildings to their previous state.
According to reports, the Archbishopric has indicated that the demolition went ahead because Saturday’s bad weather damaged one of the houses, deeming them a safety hazard.