|Maronite Cultural Centre opens in Kormakitis (Kormacit) / Korušam|
“For our parents it evolves memories and feelings. For us, it provides an opportunity to understand our origins, roots and traditions”.
In the words of a young Maronite this is the added value of the new cultural center inaugurated in the village of Kormakitis (Kormacit) / Koruçam on Saturday 11, 2012 at the presence of the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi.
Restored by the United Nations Development Programme – Partnership for the Future, thanks to EC funds and contributions from the Maronite Welfare Foundation and the Kormakitis Community Council, the cultural and community center is the first Maronite center to be opened in the northern part of Cyprus.
Built during the British period to serve as elementary school of the village, the building had remained un-used for many years, with subsequent deterioration of the roof, windows, and surrounding landscape.
Thanks to EU funding, in July 2009 the United Nations Development Programme Partnership for the Future started the restoration works that would have rehabilitated the old school into a new cultural center.
Today the cultural center houses a folkloric museum and, most importantly, the creativity, talent and efforts of the Maronite youth to preserve their grandparents’ traditions.
The restoration and rehabilitation works included extending the building to create new functional spaces and allowing the access of persons with disabilities. The community shared some of the expenses of the project, such as the installation of staircases, and the restoration of the courtyard.
The conversion of the old school building was realized in the wider framework of the EU-funded project ‘Upgrading local and urban infrastructure,’ implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in Cyprus to support the preservation of Cypriot cultural and architectural heritage.
The restoration of the cultural center prompted the creation of a permanent exhibition of traditional and folkloric items donated by the people of the village to the NGO Kormakitis Trust which will remain always on display.
The cultural center has two exhibition/conference rooms that the local youth organizations are planning to use for language courses and to host other cultural activities aiming at preserving the Maronites’ unique culture, language, and history in Cyprus.
“We hope that the cultural center will help to create more opportunities for young people to visit their village and actively participate in the village’s life. But most importantly, we hope that the success of this cultural center will be inspirational for many other villages in the northern part of Cyprus, to see the potential that such spaces have for their own communities. We look forward to attending numerous cultural events in this as well as in other villages!” – says Tiziana Zennaro, UNDP-PFF.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 28 April 2012 )|