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Conservation of Orounta mosque completed

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The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage (TCCH) announced the completion of conservation works at Orounta mosque, funded by the EU and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The mosque in Orounta village, Nicosia, is dated among various building phases between the 19th and 20th centuries.

Its complex consists of three buildings: the mosque, a secondary building, and the school building.

Archival sources document that in 1888, the old mosque was in a heavily deteriorated state and needed urgent repair.

The initial mosque building was built of rubble masonry and will be restored with the same materials.

In September 1899, the locals undertook restoration works for the mosque.

The appointment of a ratified imam on 12 April 1901 indicates that the first phase of restoration works had been concluded by that date.

Nevertheless, by 1925, the mosque had deteriorated again, and a second restoration occurred shortly after 1927.

In December 2021, the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage began its conservation works to preserve the monument.

These works included removal of vegetation, debris and waste materials, repair of the masonry cracks, repointing of the stone masonry, reconstruction of the eroded sections, installation of a geogrid reinforcement mesh on the adobe masonry, and maintenance of the roof structure.

The conservation works ended in August, marking the completion of the project.

Through its work, TCCH aims not only to restore monuments but also to create an atmosphere for building confidence and a culture of peace.

Since 2012, over 100 cultural heritage sites have been conserved, structurally supported, physically protected, or restored with total funding of €24.915 mln.

The TCCH has received approximately €33.662 mln invested by several donors to preserve the island’s cultural heritage.

Varoshia

Ayia Paraskevi in Turkish-occupied Kato Varosha needs complete restoration and maintenance, according to Archimandrite Avgoustinos Karas, chancellor of the Holy Bishopric of Famagusta.

He told CNA the church was cleaned up in 2015, a few days before the St. Paraskevi feast day, adding that it is perhaps the oldest church in the fenced area of Famagusta.

Over the years, the church was looted and destroyed, resulting in the roof falling.

The Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage visited the site and evaluated the situation, and a study was prepared to restore the church.

The committee went ahead with cleaning the church and the surrounding areas and fenced off the property.

Now, they are at the stage where the restoration will begin. But, first, the committee will give part of the funds required, and the people of Famagusta will raise the remaining.

Once the restoration work is completed, the Church of Cyprus will ask for permission from the UN to carry out services there.