A new life for Panagia Church
Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage announces completion of EU funded Panagia Church Conservation Project
Nicosia, 09/12/2013 – Next Wednesday December 11, 2013 at 11,30am an official ceremony will mark the completion of the EU funded and UNDP-PFF implemented, conservation project of the Panagia Church in Trachoni/Demirhan.
The Church of Panagia is one of the many cultural heritage sites island-wide that are currently benefiting from the EU support to the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage’s emergency measures and conservation projects.
“We return to all Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots yet another monument that belongs to our collective memory and heritage. This restoration follows those of other religious sites and monuments island wide and represents another confirmation of our constant commitment to the quality and dignity of our cultural heritage”–Takis Hadjidemetriou and Ali Tuncay, Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.
The Conservation works to the Panagia Church started in April 2013 and were completed in October 2013. The design and conservation works were fully funded by the European Union and cost approximately 130,000 EUR.
“Unlike other projects carried out with the Technical Committee in Cultural Heritage so far, which provided emergency measures to avoid further deterioration or collapses of different monuments island-wide, Panagia Church was the first cultural heritage site to undergo conservation works. We consider this an important step forward in the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage’s work to safeguard tangible cultural heritage and ensuring its accessibility to present and future generations”- Tiziana Zennaro, UNDP-PFF.
The conservation works carried out by the United Nations Development Programme Partnership for the Future included: general cleaning, supporting, excavation, consolidation and repairing of the walls; removal of debris and vegetation from the building and inside the yard; consolidation of deteriorated masonry in order to prevent it from further collapse, repairmen of the bell tower, portico, doors, windows, wooden staircase and the wooden slab of the gynaikonitis (women’s section) as well as the iconostasis. Church furniture were cleaned and placed back to their original location, and the altar has also been renovated. Sections of the garden stonewalls were also repaired and olive trees will be planted in the garden of the Church during the ceremony, to create an “Olive-grove for peace”.
“Since early 2012 the European Union has devoted 4 million euro to protect the precious Cultural Heritage in the island, in spite of the financial difficulties. Panagia Church is yet another successful example of what both communities, when working together, can achieve” – Alessandra Viezzer, European Commission
The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage looks forward to further escalate its efforts with new conservation and restoration projects, and calls on all relevant parties to contribute to keep this successful momentum by making a contribution to a work that for the first time is not only bringing together technical experts from both communities but it is also succeeding in bringing Cypriot closer to a sense of common cultural and historical belonging.
Cypriot media are invited to cover the event. A bus will be provided by UNDP-PFF for media transportation to the Church.
For more information please contact UNDP-PFF at:
Tel. +357 22874733 / +90 392 2200027, Twitter: @undp_pff.
The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage
The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage works to provide a mutually acceptable mechanism for the implementation of practical measures for the proper maintenance, preservation, physical protection and restoration (including research, study and survey) of the immovable cultural heritage of Cyprus. In 2009 the “Advisory Board for the Preservation, Physical Protection and Restoration of the Immovable Cultural Heritage of Cyprus” was set up by a decision of the two leaders. The aim of the Board is to facilitate the protection and the preservation 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.
The Agreement on the establishment of the Advisory Board for the Preservation, Physical Protection and Restoration of the Immovable Cultural Heritage of Cyprus recognizes a special role to UNDP in Cyprus as a politically accepted implementation body by both communities. For this reason, UNDP-PFF was requested by the European Commission to become the lead coordinator under which the project would be implemented fostering dialogue, cooperation and confidence building between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
Since 2012, EUR 4 million of European Union funds 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 EUR 4 million EU contribution has and will be used to carry out conservation and emergency support works on a number of cultural heritage sites; supporting ten Small Project Activities; and promoting awareness raising campaigns to sensitize the population in whole of Cyprus about the importance of preserving cultural heritage for future generations.
For more information:
UNDP Partnership for the Future