The uphill mission of saving Europe’s largest wooden building, a six-storey, 206-room edifice on Büyükada, an island off the coast of Istanbul, has become a race against the clock.

Reconstructing the 123-year-old former Greek orphanage will cost some $47 million, according to the project coordinator Laki Vingas, a price that is beyond the Orthodox Patriarchate, owner of the building or the city’s tiny Greek community of barely 2,000 members.

“The Büyükada Greek Orphanage is a heritage of all Istanbul, not just the Greek community,” Vingas tells Efe. EFE