Funds secured for restoration of burned Bayezid Mosque

Western Thrace
Fri, 30 Dec 2022 6:53 GMT
Greece has earmarked 10.5 million euros in EU funds to restore the 15th-century Ottoman Bayezit Mosque in the northeastern border town of Didymoteicho that was destroyed in a large fire in 2017.
Funds secured for restoration of burned Bayezid Mosque

Greece has earmarked 10.5 million euros in EU funds to restore the 15th-century Ottoman Bayezit Mosque in the northeastern border town of Didymoteicho that was destroyed in a large fire in 2017.

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said on Thursday the project has been included in the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund with a budget of 10,531,772 euros and is expected to be completed in 2025.

“The Bayezit Mosque, an emblematic monument of Didymoteicho and one of the most important monuments of the Ottoman Empire will be restored, with a guaranteed budget and a specific timetable,” she said.

“Thanks to the cooperation of the competent services of the Ministry of Culture and Sports with the scientific team of the National Technical University of Athens, the correct restoration proposal was drawn up, so that the monument could be restored in accordance with the principles of science and ethics.”

The minister said the restoration process is complex due to the great technical difficulties presented by the stone-built shell as well as the reconstruction of its wooden roof.

The Ottoman monument will be restored back to its last historical phase of the beginning of the 20th century, while highlighting elements of previous phases to showcase its structural history, as well as the interventions made in various time periods. In addition, further EU funding from the ESPA 2014-2020 program totalling 3,428,876 euros is already being used to complete accompanying works such as the shaping of the surrounding area.

Early in the morning of March 22, 2017, a huge fire broke out in the mosque destroying its ornate oak roof and parts of the walls. The blaze was so big that the Fire Service had to bring in crews from all over Thrace to put it out. 

A report by the Fire Service issued a few days later attributed the blaze to the negligence of the maintenance crew that did welding work, saying sparks had fallen on the wooden support beams of the roof starting a slow-burning flame that eventually engulfed the monument. 

Construction of the Bayezid Mosque was completed in 1420 and covered 900 square meters. It consists of a square prayer hall and a minaret in the western corner. One of its unique features was its early 15th-century oak roof. The original lead sheathing was removed in the Second World War, and was replaced post-war first with sheet-metal covers, and later again with lead ones. Greece’s Culture Ministry has included it in its list of protected monuments since 1946.

kathimerini

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