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Conservation of occupied Famagusta churches complete

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The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage has completed conservation works at Ayios Georgios and Panayia Ayia Napa churches in Turkish-occupied Famagusta, the EU and the United Nations Development Programme said.

UNDP Cyprus, Head of Office, Jakhongir Khaydarov, expressed his appreciation for the successful completion of these conservation works, pointing out that it represents a significant milestone in commitment to preserving Cyprus’ rich cultural heritage.

“These projects highlight the importance of safeguarding the shared heritage for future generations,” he said.

Stefan Simosas, Head of Cooperation of the Cyprus Settlement Support of the European Commission, said these sites “represent not just the multicultural richness of Cyprus, but also the importance of restoring and preserving monuments as a tool to foster peace-building and reconciliation.”

Dr Sotos Ktoris, TCCH Greek Cypriot co-chair, said the churches of Ayios Georgios and Panagia not only serve as physical testaments to our past but also as a source of inspiration for the present and the future.

Ktoris said, “Our cultural heritage is a bridge that connects us to our roots and serves as a platform for understanding, respect and appreciation among Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots”.

Ali Tuncay, the TCCH Turkish Cypriot co-chair, said that many civilizations have passed through Cyprus and “live with us through our shared monuments, and they are the richness of the island”.

“We acknowledge the responsibility of preserving and sustaining this richness so it can be handed over to future generations and are proud to be able to promote cooperation between the Turkish and the Greek Cypriots through such a valuable endeavour.”

The church of Panayia Ayia Napa’s inscription above the south entrance of the church dates the structure to 1890.

Since 2012, over 123 cultural heritage sites, island-wide, have been conserved, structurally supported, physically protected or restored by TCCH and UNDP with support from the European Union with funding of €24.915 mln.

The TCCH has received a total of €35.6 mln invested by several donors to implement the preservation of the cultural heritage of Cyprus.