Akhtamar Chruch in danger

Akdamar Church in Ruins

ZAMAN 05.14.2004, By Ahmet Ãœnal, Van

Link: ;alt=&hn=8549

Famous for its 10th century Church of the Holy Cross, the Akdamar
Church on the island of Akdamar in Lake Van’s is almost in ruins.

The church, which is visited by many foreign tourists, is worn out and
close to ruins. The church has been neglected and harmed by treasure
hunters and at risk of collapsing. Both its foundation and ceiling
have cracks and holes.

The City of Van’s Culture and Tourism Province Director, Bilal Sonmez,
told Zaman that a project for the preservation of the historical
identity of the church is already being prepared. Sonmez said that
the issue has already been transferred to the Culture and Nature
Assets Council and that the directorate is waiting for a decision.

Erdogan Acar, a tourist at the church, said that he was nervous to
walk around inside the church because of its near ruined condition. He
added, “We could prove that we are a great nation if we claim our
historical heritage.”


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