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Othello’s Tower re-opens in July

10 June 2015

A young bi-communal performing group will perform Shakespeare’s “Othello” as part of the official re-opening of the Othello Tower and Citadel in Famagusta on 2nd July.

Restoration works began in 2012 at a cost of around 4 million Euros. Funding was provided by the EU Commission and the project has been supported by the United Nations Development Programme Partnership for the Future (UNDP-PFF) to implement the work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage for the preservation of the island’s cultural heritage.

“A permanent exhibition on the structural stabilisation works carried out at the Castle/Citadel will also be inaugurated. Work began on the renovations almost a year ago to the castle where Shakespeare set his drama “Othello” The fortress was first built by Lusignan conquerors in the 14th century. It was then remodelled and expanded in the 15th century by the Venetians, whose winged Lion of St. Mark emblem is still clearly visible, carved over its portal.

The sandstone complex, with four towers, is a maze of dark alleys, cellars and a large banqueting hall supported by vaulted roofs. Signs of its expansion from a Lusignan fortress to a Venetian one are evident; arrow slits in walls seen from the inner parts of the complex look out onto the Venetian fortification. Conservationists say the intervention will be as ‘light’ as possible. Only original materials and mortar will be used, and researchers have already located the ancient quarry where material will be extracted if necessary.

A stone stage in the central courtyard was used until recently for performances of Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello”. This will be dismantled and replaced by one made from more suitable material.

Cyprus Mail

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