The European Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched the Cyprus Digital Heritage website (www.cyprusdigitalheritage.com).
Funded by the EU through the Aid Programme, the new website aims to safeguard and showcase Cyprus’ cultural treasures, ensuring their longevity and making them accessible to everyone.
The website includes virtual tours featuring cultural heritage sites restored and conserved by the bicommunal Technical Committee of Cultural Heritage (TCCH).
“These sites hold significant cultural and historical value for Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, representing a bridge between their shared past and a foundation for building a common future.
“Visitors can embark on a virtual journey through the magnificent historical landmarks of Cyprus, experiencing their grandeur and significance from the comfort of their own homes.
“Through these immersive virtual tours, users can explore monuments and archaeological wonders, gaining a deep appreciation for Cyprus’ historical and cultural legacy,” the UNDP said.
The Cyprus Digital Heritage website also provides a user-friendly interface allowing visitors to navigate various curated content.
It features interactive maps, 3D reconstructions, and other multimedia elements, enhancing the virtual tour experience and enriching the exploration of Cyprus’ cultural treasures.
The website is invaluable for educators, researchers, and cultural enthusiasts.
Kjartan Björnsson of the European Commission said: “The Cyprus Digital Heritage website presents an opportunity to stimulate dialogue, foster understanding, and connect the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, thereby hopefully paving the way for the reunification of Cyprus.”
Jakhongir Khaydarov, UNDP Cyprus Head of Office, expressed his appreciation for the project’s bi-communal nature and its potential for confidence-building.
“The launch of the Cyprus Digital Heritage website, featuring TCCH sites, represents a remarkable collaboration between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
“This initiative contributes to building trust and fostering a sense of unity among Cypriots.”
The website contributes to the objectives of Europe’s Digital Decade and UNDP’s commitment to sustainable development and cultural preservation.
Since 2012, over 123 cultural heritage sites, islandwide, have been conserved, structurally supported, physically protected or restored by TCCH and UNDP with financial support from the EU of almost €25 mln.
The TCCH has received €35.6 mln from several donors to implement its priorities for preserving the island’s cultural heritage.