Students protest in Cyprus over closure of historic Melkonian school

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 16, 2004, Tuesday

Students protest in Cyprus over closure of historic boarding school

Over 200 students of an historic Armenian boarding school in Nicosia
demonstrated Tuesday against its impending closure.

The U.S.-based foundation that runs the Melkonian Educational
Institute announced it will close the school in June 2005, after over
seven decades.

News of the closure has angered critics who say that profits from the
40 million Cyprus pound (84 million dollars) sale of the school’s
prime assets will leave Cyprus.

Protesting students blocked the main road leading out of the capital,
chanting “Melkonian not for sale” and brandishing placards condemning
the foundation.

The school, Cyprus’s only boarding school, was established in 1926 by
two Armenian brothers to provide shelter to orphans that escaped
genocide at the hands of the Ottomans during the First World War.

Students and teachers claim the New-York based Armenian General
Benevolent Union (AGBU), which had been entrusted with the management
of the school, decided to close the institute without sufficient
justification. dpa mdp ch sc