More than 60,000 Church items stolen in occupied Cyprus, says Mayor of Lefkoniko

Lefkoniko, Cyprus, June 11, 2020

A church being used as a stable in Lapithos, Cyprus. Photo: A church being used as a stable in Lapithos, Cyprus. Photo:     

Turkish leaders are hypocritical when complaining about the alleged looting of mosques in Cyprus given that more than 60,000 Church items have been stolen from churches throughout Northern Cyprus, says Zina Alexandrou, the Mayor of Lefkoniko.

Lefkoniko is a town in the Mesaoria Plain in Northern Cyprus, which has been occupied by Turkey since 1974.

Speaking on Cypriot television, Mayor Alexandrou spoke about the destruction of churches, monasteries, and cemeteries, and the theft of icons in occupied Cyprus, of which there are innumerable examples, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.

“Our churches have become workshops, cafes, and toilets,” Alexandrou lamented.

Romfea also reported yesterday about a 19th-century church and cemetery being used as a stable in the northern Cyprus town of Lapithos.

The Lefkoniko mayor also noted that Interpol and German authorities have seized icons that were stolen from the occupied territory. According to her information, more than 60,000 items have been stolen, while cemeteries are often desecrated by scratching the eyes out of the icons at people’s graves.

“They hypocritically talk about desecrated mosques, while they have destroyed every in the occupied part of the country,” the mayor said, adding that such situations in the free territory of Cyprus are extremely rare.

She also noticed an album documenting missing items has been compiled in Lefkoniko.

In May 2019, a small reliquary containing a piece of the sacred remains of St. Mamas of Caesarea was saved from auction in Düsseldorf and returned to the Monastery of St. Mamas in Morphou, Cyprus.

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