The restoration works of the historic monastery of Panagia Soumela in Pontos have entered the final stretch, so that it can be (again) open “as soon as possible” to the visitors, according to the provincial director of Culture and Tourism of Trabzon, Mustafa Asan, reports the Orthodox Times.
As reported by pontosnews.gr, the project is now 80% complete.
Despite the fact that some time ago Turkish media gave July 1st as an opening day, Mustafa Assan refrained from saying a specific date.
The first crews entered Panagia Soumela on September 22, 2015. On May 25, 2019, part of the monument was delivered (up to the first courtyard). The first phase of the restoration cost about 4.8m euros from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
On July 28, 2020, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, through a teleconference, due to the pandemic, cut the ribbon to 65% of the project, which included the restoration of 12 buildings of the monastery complex and the fixing and removal of all dangerous rocks with steel nets. “More than 1,100 tonnes were removed over an area of 17,000 square meters, that is, across the slope,” said Mustafa Assan.