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NTUA throws lifeline to quake-hit historical Cretan churches

A program by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) seeks to restore 11 Byzantine and post-Byzantine church monuments after damage sustained in a powerful earthquake in Arkalochori, Crete, in September 2021.

The program, which recently secured Culture Ministry approval, will be based on a detailed evaluation of the monuments’ structural history and current state.

“An exact computer replica of each monument will be created and then subjected to conditions simulating the Arkalochori quake. Our models will help us repeat exactly what happened, giving us a very good idea of the exact causes of the damage,” the head of the program and director of the NTUA’s Laboratory for Earthquake Engineering, Constantine Spyrakos, tells Kathimerini.

The aim is to reopen the churches that were operational before the 6-Richter earthquake by the fall of 2023. “This is the most advanced method we have,” he adds.