8. Scientific Committees 8.2 Mount Athos
8.2 Mount Athos
Since 1975 G.P.Lavas participated in several workshops and supervision groups for the documentation, protection and restoration of the Byzantine art and monuments of Mount Athos or “Holy Mountain”. He was member of the Board for the conservation of Protatos Church, Koutloumousiou Monastery and Stavronikita Monastery.
As assessor he wrote an expertise for the Action Plan of the European Community for the protection of the cultural heritage of Athos (1990). In closing, the Holy Mountain is a unique religious, ecistic, historical, ethnological and cultural entity. As a self-governed part of Greece, it is governed by an administrator according to the Charter of Mount Athos since 1926. The countries which signed the agreement for Greece’s entry into the European Community in Athens on May 28th, 1979, also signed a Common Declaration recognizing that the special established order on Athos, as described in article 105 of the Greek Constitution, is guaranteed exclusively for spiritual and religious reasons.
The conflagrations of 1990 caused massive catastrophes on the natural and built environment near the Holy Monasteries of Megisti Lavra, Hilandarion, Koutloumousion, Xiropotamos, Karakalos, Filotheos, Simon Petras, Stavronikitas, Saint Gregorious, Saint Pavlos.
The action plan included proposals for a. fire safety, b. water-supply and drainage, c. road networks between the monasteries and d. restoration of buildings and their artistic riches. The implementation of all these programs in general and in detail, includes many problems and hardships. The Action Plan emphasizes on the work of KEDAK (Centre for the Preservation of the Athonite Heritage), a public service under the administration of the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace. This committee of specialists-theologians, archaeologists-byzantinists, architects, restorers, civil engineers, administrators and monks was in charge of planning, organizing and supervizing every project and program related to the Athonite republic. The problems faced were many and complex.