Friday, October 18th 2019 5PM °C nicosia
19-06-2019 09:37 | Read 349 times

State of mosque sparks concern

FRESH concerns have been raised over the state of one of the TRNC's prime landmarks and tourist attractions.

State of mosque sparks concern

Fears about the dilapidation of Lefkoşa's city centre Selimiye Mosque were reignited by pictures published of an olive sapling growing out of a buttress of the 800-year-old stone building.

It is believed to have germinated from a stone probably carried there by a bird, and has not become visible after growing to a height of about one metre.

Media reports said the sapling needed to be uprooted before it grew bigger and potentially caused cracks and even the collapse of the Lusignan-era stonework.

A call also went out for the mosque's roof and walls to be cleared of vegetation – said to be a problem common to all of the capital's historic buildings.

Officials have already given the green light to a “complete restoration” of the crumbling Selimiye Mosque.

The former Cathedral of St Sophia is one of the island's most famous buildings -- a 13th century gothic church within the capital's historical walls, it was transformed into a mosque by the Ottomans when they conquered the island in 1571.

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