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Full support for restoration of historic Bayezid Mosque after destructive fire

23/03/2017


A number of Greek ministers on Wednesday pledged to fully support efforts to restore the Celebi Sultan Mehmed Mosque in Didimoteicho, also known as the Bayezid Mosque, which was severely damaged in a fire that broke out in the early hours of Wednesday.


Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said it was a very sad event and that the government "has an obligation and we have pledged that we will proceed with the repair of the monument." Greek authorities were now investigating to discover the cause of the fire and those responsible, he added.
Education Minister Costas Gavroglou also offered his full support to the culture ministry, noting that the Bayezid Mosque was a "most important religious monument for our country and culture."
"The destruction it has suffered due to the fire is a blow," Gavroglou said, noting that he had contacted the heads of Greece's top universities, asking them to support the culture ministry's efforts. He also stressed the need to discover what caused the fire in a very important religious monument undergoing restoration work.


A team of culture ministry staff headed by culture ministry general secretary Maria Andreadi-Vlazaki, sent by Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou, arrived in Didimoteicho on Wednesday morning to inspect the damage after the fire was extinguished. Koniordou is currently on a visit to Jerusalem.
According to a culture ministry announcement, the team will ensure that the necessary emergency action to protect and preserve the mosque is taken while the investigation into the fire is underway.
The ministry's announcement noted that the historic mosque, started in 1402 AD by Sultan Bayezid but finally completed in 1420 AD under Sultan Mehmet I, had been one of its top priorities and that the restoration work on its roof had been included in the projects given EU funding. Prior to the fire, complete studies of its structure, archaeological investigation and the construction of a protective shelter had been completed, the announcement said.


"..Having ensured a full record and the archaeological documentation of the monument, the culture ministry is determined and in every way prepared to fully restore the Mosque and hand it over to the local community and beyond in the best possible way, considering it a very important part of our country's cultural wealth," the announcement said.


Talking to the ANA radio station 'Praktorio 104.9' in Thessaloniki, Andreadi-Vlazaki also stressed that the ministry had all the information needed in order to fully restore the mosque.
The 15th-century mosque, possibly the oldest in Europe, is considered by Greek officials as one of the most important Muslim monuments in all of Europe and has been protected since 1946. Its pyramid-shaped oak roof dates to the late 15th century and replaced the original dome, which collapsed soon after construction.


According to experts on Ottoman architecture in Greece, the oak roof destroyed in Wednesday's fire was "one of the most important wooden monuments in the world" and work to restore this had been underway since 2010, using both EU and national funding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New rooms en.athenspress.gr Press//Source: ANA-MPA

 

 

Published in : Info Guide
 

 

 

 

 

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