Historic church prepares to serve as culture & art venue
AYVALIK, Balıkesir - Doğan News Agency
The restoration of the 140-year-old church will be finished in two years. DHA photoThe Taksiyarhis (Hagia Nikola) Church, a significant historical structure in the Aegean district of Ayvalık that has been plundered for years by treasure hunters, will soon be restored as a museum by the Rahmi Koç Foundation for Museology and Culture.
The 140-year-old church, which will be restored at a cost of 9 million Turkish Liras, is one of the leading structures of its period thanks to its marble details, ceiling decoration and icons made on fish skin. After the restoration, the church will host cultural and artistic events.
Locals in the district are reportedly pleased at the beginning of restoration on the structure. The roof of the church was reinforced in 2004 as part of works carried out by architect Ali Erdoğan. Now its façade and interior are undergoing restoration.
Ayvalık District Gov. Nihat Nalbant said the restoration of historic structures would be gain for Ayvalık. “When the works are done, the church will be a venue for cultural and artistic events, and tourism in the district will be revived.”
The Rahmi Koç Foundation for Museology and Culture previously restored a ruined chapel and a windmill in the region and opened the Sevim and Necdet Kent Library, which bears the name of Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent’s mother and father, in 2007.