Istanbul’s Greek Orthodox orphanage in need of 40 million Euro restoration - report

A restoration of Istanbul’s Prinkipo Greek Orthodox orphanage in Istanbul would cost at least 40 million euros, according to a report by European heritage organisation Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Institute.

The project to put the historic 20,000-square-meter wooden building on Istanbul’s Büyükada island back on its feet would take four to five years to complete, the Greek Reporter said, citing an EIB report released on July 29.

The five-story building, which functioned as an orphanage for 65 years until being shut down by the Turkish government in 1964, can accommodate a total of 206 rooms. The building which has been empty for decades is thought to be the largest wooden building in all of Europe, and the second-largest in the entire world.

“There are many caveats and uncertainties making it impossible to provide a reasonable and fair estimate of the full project costs. However, on the basis of the opinions expressed by several external experts, it is reasonable to expect the project to require a total investment of at least 40 million [euros] (a figure that, depending on many factors, could be much higher)” the Greek Reporter quoted the report as saying.

Between 250-300 persons would be employed for the project, it added.

The report from the Europa Nostra and EIB Institute follows a three-day mission to Turkey on May 29-31.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarch located in Istanbul would be responsible for raising the necessary funds to finance the main repair work and to carry out the restoration as the legal owner of the site, the report also said.