The bi-communal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage announced on Thursday, that restoration work on two mosques – Evretou and Tserkezoi/Çerkez would begin shortly.
A UNFICYP press release said that: “Emergency measures works will start next week in Evretou/Evretu and will be completed by mid-November 2014. Works at the mosque in Tserkezoi/Çerkez shall follow”.
Both projects are fully funded by the European Union under Phase 2 of the “Support to cultural heritage monuments of great importance for Cyprus” project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme Partnership for the Future (UNDP-PFF) playing a major role in the realization of the Technical Committee’s work programme.
“These two mosques follow the conservation project to Denia/Denya mosque which was the first project of the Technical Committee completed in 2013”, Turkish Cypriot member of the Technical Committee Ali Tuncay said.
Within the Technical Committee, he added, “respecting diversity of cultural heritage is at the heart of the cooperation between the two communities”.
He further pointed out that “the cultural heritage is not just about stones and buildings. They also carry values from the past that are important for the future”.
Greek Cypriot member of the Technical Committee Takis Hadjidemetriou said that “the first half of 2014 proved very fruitful for the work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and we are pleased to resume our work from where we had left it”.
“These two new emergency measures projects show once again, our firm commitment to preserve the diversity of our cultural, historical and religious heritage” he added.
Emergency measures to the mosque in Evretou/Evretu will involve clearing/cleaning the mosque and surrounds, removal of collapsed parts, strengthening of walls and floors, installing doors and windows, constructing roof of the collapsed section and some masonry works, the press release says.
In Tserkezoi/Çerkez, only two of the original walls of the mosque have survived to to date and will be consolidated, but existing traces of collapsed walls will be brought to light, defined and consolidated.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey launched a peace keeping mission and then occupied its northern third. UN led negotiations have been underway aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof.
The Advisory Board of the Technical Committee was set up by a decision of the two leaders as the executive body of the Committee. The purpose of the Board is to protect, preserve and facilitate the preservation, physical protection and restoration (including research, study and survey) of the immovable cultural heritage of Cyprus.
This agency allows for the practical aspects of preservation to be considered in a non-political manner so that practical measures can be taken to improve the care and conservation of existing buildings.