Restoration complete at İzmir Greek Orthodox church
The sole Greek Orthodox church to survive a fire in the Aegean province of İzmir in 1922 has been restored, municipal officials announced Sunday. The İzmir Metropolitan Municipality released a statement saying that the restoration of the historical Ayavukla Church, which was launched in 2008, was nearly completed.
"The church will be used as a social and cultural center after the renovation," the statement said. With the restoration, the Jesus Christ figure, which had been painted over, as well as frescoes depicting St. John and angels Michael and Gabriel, has been renewed.
The Ayavukla Church is in the Basmane neighborhood and was constructed by the Greek Orthodox community in the second half of the 19th century. It was the only Greek Orthodox church to survive the fire of 1922, a major event in İzmir's history.
The building served as a museum on orders from Ataturk in 1924. It was later used as an opera rehearsal hall.