Neglected migrant cemetery on Lesvos island gets overhauled

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A neglected burial ground on the Greek island of Lesvos has undergone a major transformation to provide a dignified resting place for the dead, and for their relatives to visit.

The cemetery is located near the village of Kato Tritos, roughly 20 kilometres from Mytilini, and is mostly known for honouring those who tragically lost their lives at sea or in migrant camps. 

AP News revealed that it has been refurbished by Earth Medicine, a Lesvos-based charity.

On Wednesday, April 17, Earth Medicine formally handed over the redesigned cemetery to municipal officials.

A spokesperson for Earth Medicine, Dimitris Patounis spoke on the new transformation of the cemetery. 

Lesbos burial ground
The cemetery features 200 gravestones. Photo: Panagiotis Balaskas.

“We wanted it to be clear that this was a burial ground, (mostly) for people who died at sea — some of whom have been identified while others have not,” Mr Patounis said.

“It used to be just a field.”

Prior to being renovated, the cemetery was filled with gravestones covered in weeds, and they were marked with a number written on them, or in rare cases, a name.

Now, the 200 gravestones have a white gravel cover and clearly list what is known of the occupant.

“Now people will be able to visit when their (dead) relatives are identified,” Mr Patounis said.

Source: AP News.

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