The Diyarbakır Surp Giragos Church has won the Europa Nostra Award for Conservation, receiving its prize at a ceremony held in Oslo last week.
Winners of the European Union Cultural Heritage and Europa Nostra 2015 awards came together at Oslo City Hall, where the Nobel Prize ceremony is also held.
The contractor of the church renovation project Zülfikar Halifeoğlu and Surp Giragos Church Foundation Board Member Pelin Ayık received the award on behalf of the foundation.
The European Union Cultural Heritage Award Ceremony was co-hosted by Executive Director Denis de Kergoylay and European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics on behalf of Europa Nostra President Plácido Domingo.
The Diyarbakır Surp Giragos Armenian Church was one of the 28 projects elected from among 263 projects nominated in the Protection of European Cultural Heritage contest.
The Award Committee underlined the contribution of local administration, local people and the Armenian community in the renovation of the church as the reason to award the project, stating, “The effort shown to renovate the main church of the Armenian community after the exile of its people, is an outstanding act of reconciliation for the city and its citizens. The project was developed after extensive research on old documents in order to reconstruct lost elements. The involvement of the Armenian community in the restoration of the monument has contributed immensely to the improvement of peace and social integration of its people, attracting also visiting Armenians from all over the world.”