Through cultural heritage, EU and UNDP bring Cypriots across borders together

Conservation projects across the island, led by the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, with EU and UNDP support, are not only re-establishing community links between villages and their former residents, but also encouraging cross-community exchanges.This is perhaps most evident in the journey of Ismail and Christina, whose stories has become linked following the restoration of the church of their village.

Christina Pavlou Solomi Patsia is a former Greek Cypriot resident of the Komi Kebir/Buyukkonuk village, where UNDP recently finished restoring the Agios Afksentios Church.

Highlights

  • Since 2012, approximately €8.1 mln was provided by the European Commission through UNDP to implement the priorities of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage for the preservation of the island-wide cultural heritage in Cyprus.
  • UNDP has helped the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage to protect 13 heritage sites island-wide.
  • 4 sites are currently undergoing restoration, with another 20 under study to benefit from similar interventions in the near future (September 2016).

As a child, she lived close to the church. “We used to play in the church yard when we were young; we spent most of our time here. When I come back here now, it feels like I am 13 again.”

Despite having lived most of her life in Limassol, Christina still feels strongly attached to her village. She has come back many times, even before the conservation works started. 

Before the church was restored, however, she had difficulties convincing some of her friends, also former residents, to join her in her daytrips to the village. “The restoration of the church was a turning point,” she tells us. “The ones who came told me: Christina, we were scared to come, but the repair of the church felt like an invitation.”

The conservation, supported by EU, was completed in June 2015, and its completion was celebrated in the presence of both the Orthodox Bishop of Karpasia Christophoros and Imam Fahretin Ogdo.

Christina Pavlou Solomi Patsia is a former Greek Cypriot resident of the Komi Kebir/Buyukkonuk village, where UNDP recently finished restoring the Agios Afksentios Church.

As a child, she lived close to the church. “We used to play in the church yard when we were young; we spent most of our time here. When I come back here now, it feels like I am 13 again.”

Despite having lived most of her life in Limassol, Christina still feels strongly attached to her village. She has come back many times, even before the conservation works started. 

Before the church was restored, however, she had difficulties convincing some of her friends, also former residents, to join her in her daytrips to the village. “The restoration of the church was a turning point,” she tells us. “The ones who came told me: Christina, we were scared to come, but the repair of the church felt like an invitation.”

The conservation, supported by EU, was completed in June 2015, and its completion was celebrated in the presence of both the Orthodox Bishop of Karpasia Christophoros and Imam Fahretin Ogdo.

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