Azbej welcomes abbey status of Norcia Benedictine monastery rebuilt with Hungarian support

Tristan Azbej, the foreign ministry's state secretary, has emphasised the importance of the Hungarian government's support to the rebuilding of a 10th-century Benedictine monastery near Italy's Norcia which was almost completely destroyed in a devastating earthquake in 2016.

The earthquake claimed close to 300 lives and destroyed several cultural heritage sites and buildings, Azbej told MTI on Saturday evening, adding that the community of the Benedictine friars had lost almost everything they had possessed.

He said that the Hungarian government had been the first and only foreign government to offer support for rebuilding the monastery, noting that it had provided more than 700,000 euros worth of funding for the project under its Hungary Helps scheme.

In a token of appreciation, one of the monastery’s chambers will be named after Hungary and nurture the memory of King St Stephen, Azbej said.

According to the monastery’s website, it has recently been elevated to the status of an abbey.

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