Europa Nostra and EIB Institute contribute to meeting on preservation plans for Prinkipo Greek Orphanage in Türkiye

On 13 January 2024, Guy Clausse, Europa Nostra’s Executive Vice-President, and Mario Aymerich, Technical Advisor to the European Investment Bank Institute and Member of the Advisory Panel of the 7 Most Endangered programme, took part in a crucial meeting organised by Europa Nostra Türkiye. The focus of the gathering was to review and chart the future course for the preservation of the Prinkipo Greek Orphanage, following the recent completion of 3D partial scanning of the site (namely the theatre) by the project coordination task force. The Prinkipo Greek Orphanage was included in the list of 7 Most Endangered heritage sites in Europe for 2018, following a nomination made by Europa Nostra Türkiye.

Credits: Europa Nostra Türkiye

 

Built in 1899, the Prinkipo Greek Orphanage is considered to be the largest wooden building in Europe and the second largest in the world. The impressive structure is located on Büyükada (Prinkipo), the largest of the Princes’ Islands off the coast of Istanbul.

During the meeting, Guy Clausse and Mario Aymerich shared their insights and perspectives on the highly endangered site. They also delved into the technical and financial report for the rehabilitation of the Prinkipo Greek Orphanage published in 2019 by the partners of the 7 Most Endangered programme, namely Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute.

Credits: Europa Nostra Türkiye

 

Mario Aymerich supported the idea to convert the site into an Environmental and Inter-faith Dialogue Centre, free from any political agenda. However, he suggested considering other compatible uses for the building in consultation with key stakeholders. Both representatives stressed the importance of developing a comprehensive business plan to ensure the sustainability of the heritage site.

The experts emphasised the urgent need for preservation measures and the mobilisation of funds for the building. In his presentation, the Executive Vice-President of Europa Nostra underscored the significance of the preservation programme for Europe’s heritage and highlighted recent advocacy and policy developments.

Credits: Europa Nostra Türkiye

 

The meeting brought together prominent researchers and stakeholders dedicated to safeguarding the Prinkipo Greek Orphanage. Among the attendees were His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome, the Vice-President of Elliniki Etairia – The Society for Cultural Heritage and the Environment, Costas Stamatopoulos, the Restoration Project Coordinator Laki Vingas, and Prof. Burçin Altinsay, Vice-President of Europa Nostra Türkiye. This multidisciplinary European team has collaborated to find solutions for the future of the site.

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