Diyarbakir's Assyrian School opens its doors after restoration

Diyarbakir's Assyrian School opens its doors after restoration
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An ancient school in Sur, Diyarbakir transforms into a cultural beacon for future generations.

The ancient Assyrian Girls' School, a 1,600-year-old gem in the Lalebey neighborhood of Sur, Diyarbakir (Amed), has been meticulously restored and is ready to serve a new purpose. Thanks to the efforts of the DİTAV (Diyarbakir Promotion, Culture, and Solidarity Foundation), the architectural relic is now a part of the city's rich cultural heritage.

According to Ferit Aslan's report on Medyascope, DİTAV took up the monumental task of restoring the structure with the help of donations. The building, which was neglected for years, serving as a residence and then a warehouse, has been transformed into a beacon of art and culture.

During a recent introduction of the revived building, DİTAV Vice President Seyhmus Diken recounted the school's transformative journey. "There was almost nothing left of its old identity," Diken revealed. He described a divided building, a historical edifice whose original purpose and grandeur had been obscured by years of alternative use and neglect.

But now, the old school has been restored, not to its original educational purpose, but as a house of culture and art. A protocol agreement with the Syriac Foundation ensured that the restoration respected the building's historical significance, with a commitment that its ownership remains with the Assyrian Foundation.

While the building's recent history remained somewhat elusive, Diken highlighted its origins could be traced back 1,600 years, making it a contemporary of the adjacent Virgin Mary Church. The restoration ensures that the building's architectural and historical integrity is preserved and will not be relegated to commercial use–a fate that has befallen similar historic structures in the area.

"This place will not be used as a commercial area. It will function as a space entirely based on projects," affirmed Diken. This decision underscores a commitment to preserve and celebrate the cultural and historical essence of the building.

With an investment of 3 million liras in the restoration project, the cultural and art house will be unveiled at a grand ceremony over the weekend.

*Photo: Kronos