Nicosia, 24 June 2021 – Joined by Jakhongir Khaydarov, the new Head of Office for UNDP in Cyprus, the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage (TCCH) and UNDP conducted its first visit to the conservation sites in the Famagusta region within the framework of the “Support to cultural heritage monuments of great importance for Cyprus” project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
During the visit, Mr. Khaydarov, members of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and UNDP, toured the Kampanopetra and the Agios Epiphanios basilicas in Salamis as well as the opus sectile floor of the Saint Barnabas basilica in the area. The group then visited improvement works at the Martinengo bastion courtyard, where a team of experts composed of archaeologists and conservators, made up of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, are beginning Phase III of conservation works to structurally support, and physically protect the monument.
Jakhongir Khaydarov, Head of Office, UNDP in Cyprus:
“The beginning of conservation works at the Salamis archeological site and the courtyard of the Martinengo Bastion are the fruits of a very successful partnership between the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, UNDP and the European Union. Monuments and sites preserved and restored through this partnership are able to return to having a powerful role in building bridges between people.”
Ali Tuncay, Co-Chair of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage:
“Salamis archeological site and the historic walled city of Famagusta are both pearls of the Mediterranean. They were centres of commercial activity, wealth, and cosmopolitanism. Monuments in Salamis and Famagusta symbolize the richness and diversity of our island's cultural heritage. Protection of cultural heritage is a fundamental basis on which intercultural dialogue and cooperation can be established. As the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, we are dedicated to preserving this rich cultural heritage for future generations and as well as humanity”
Takis Hadjidemetriou, Co-Chair of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage:
“With the completion of the works in the surrounding area, the Martinego Bastion will be accessible to visitors. Martinego Bastion is the most important part of the walls of Famagusta and one of the most important examples of military architecture in the world. The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage is proud of its contribution to the maintenance of the monument”.
Sotos Ktoris, Member of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage:
“In Martinengo Bastion, we are not only conserving and preserving one of the most important monuments on our island, but we are also conserving and preserving an important part of the island’s history as well.”
Since 2012, 88 cultural heritage sites island-wide have been conserved, structurally supported, physically protected or restored by TCCH and UNDP, with funding from the EU. Approximately €22.4 million have been provided by the European Commission to implement the priorities of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage for the preservation of the island-wide cultural heritage in Cyprus. The European Union is the biggest supporter of the work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in Cyprus.
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The Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community, based on Council Regulation 389/2006, aims at facilitating the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community, with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island, on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU, and on preparation for the EU body of laws (also referred to as acquis communautaire).
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The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage
The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage works in line with the mutually agreed mechanism for the preservation of the island’s common heritage. In 2009, the Advisory Board was set up by a decision of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and approved by the two leaders as the consultative body of the Committee. The aim of the Board is to protect, preserve and facilitate the preservation, physical protection and restoration (including research, study and survey) of the immovable cultural heritage of Cyprus. This mechanism allows for the practical aspects of preservation to be considered in a non-political manner so that practical measures can be taken to improve the situation on the ground.
United Nations Development Programme
UNDP aims to contribute and support the peace-building process in Cyprus and to enhance cooperation between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots by implementing a range of confidence building measures.