Restoration of revered Cyprus monastery ‘symbol of unity’

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Work carried out jointly by Greek and Turkish Cypriots to restore an Orthodox Christian monastery was hailed Monday as a symbolic milestone for unity and peace on the ethnically divided eastern Mediterranean island.

Situated on the northeastern tip of the Karpas peninsula in Cyprus’ breakaway Turkish Cypriot north, the monastery is dedicated to one of Jesus’ first disciples, St. Andrew, and has long been revered by both Orthodox Christian Greek Cypriots and Muslim Turkish Cypriots.

The monastery was built on the spot where it’s said St. Andrew’s ship dropped anchor until winds could pick up. A fresh-water spring from where water still flows is said to have miraculously helped restore the sight of the captain’s blind son. In gratitude, the captain built a small church atop the spring.

Two years of work to restore the monastery’s crumbling church wrapped up Monday at a cost of $2.47 million.