S M Sarafyan
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It was while visiting the island in 2005 that I first witnessed what at first sight looked like the wanton desecration of the Armenian Cemetery at Ledra Palace.
At the time I photographed the site and published the pictures ( click here for pictures))
It subsequently transpired that the act was in fact sanctioned by the Armenian Prelacy of Cyprus, an act condemned as an act of vandalism and stopped by the Cyprus House of Representatives (thanks mainly to the efforts of the Green party).
Much was then made about the efforts of the Armenian Prelacy to make good the destruction.
Thus in Oct 2008 I revisited the site, expecting a rebuild and improved cemetery.
Alas it was not to be, the site was pretty much as it had been three years ago, some of the excavations had been filled in, most of the human remains that were scattered around the site had been removed and the roof of the chapel had been completely removed, with the chapel being surrounded by scaffolding.
Gravestones were still upturned, or piled up in a corner, the eastern part was full of rubbish and the perimeter wall was still missing with a metal chain link fence erected there in an attempt to keep people out.
And yes there was indeed a sign indicating that reconstruction work had been approved and was in progress, but no indication of what the work entailed or when it would be finished and certainly nothing to indicate that the contractor was in any way a specialist in reconstructing culturally sensitive sites.
A few questions remain.
Were any topographical maps made of the site prior to the original graves being exhumed?
Were individual graves marked on the map?
Were the remains which were unceremoniously piled into
black rubbish bags marked and stored in a safe environment, for subsequent
In fact was a licence to exhume these remains obtained from the relevant ministry in the first place?
Where are these remains now?
What will be done with them?
If anybody from the Armenian Prelacy can answer these questions I would be more than happy to publish their answers
Pictures from 2008