Restoration of Greek Island Church wins Europa Nostra Heritage Award

The jury behind the prestigious award praised the quality of the restoration, and the high level of cooperation between public and private bodies.

The restoration of an 8th or 9th century Byzantine church on the Aegean island of Naxos is one of 29 recipients of the European Union’s prestigious Europa Nostra cultural heritage awards for 2018.

Aghia Kyriaki is a single-nave domed church located in a remote part of the island that suffered extensive damage from the elements and neglect, which particularly affected valuable wall paintings dating from one of the two periods of Iconoclasm.

The project was funded by private donors through an initiative of the Swiss associations J.-G. Eynard and Amitiés Gréco-Suisses called the Association Hagia Kyriaki and including a contribution by J.F. Costopoulos Foundation, as well as through the Greek organization Elliniki Etairia, with donations from the A.G. Leventis Foundation and Athanasios and Marina Martinos.

“This is a sensitive and respectful conservation of a structure and its wall paintings which are linked to an important period in European thought. The excellent results have been achieved through international and interdisciplinary cooperation and through the collaboration of private and public bodies,” the Europa Nostra jury said of the project.

“Great attention has been paid to respectfully preserving the monument within the surroundings’ unique and natural landscape in a remote location. Attention has been paid to what is often an overlooked type of heritage in a European context,” the jury added.

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