Student trips offer new heritage perspectives

May 19, 2016

Our Shared Heritage: messages from Agios Panteleimonas

As part of a new collaboration between the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and several educational institutions, the UNDP Team recently offered architecture graduate and undergraduate students the chance to visit some of the highlights of the work of Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in Cyprus.  

Taking a tour of one of the EU funded and UNDP implemented heritage conservation projects currently under implementation gave students a behind the scenes look at the practical work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and how it aims to bring Cypriots closer to their shared heritage.

These visits are the starting point of a new challenge that we are undertaking as Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, which focus on facilitating the exchange of knowledge and experiences among new generations, as well as broadening students’ understanding of their unity in diversity” explain Mr. Ali Tuncay and Mr. Takis Hadjidemetriou, Representatives of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

In the past two years, more than 2,000 students took part in guided tours to ongoing heritage conservation projects or attended presentations organized at their universities by the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

This open-projects initiative provides a platform for students and Professors island wide to discuss ideas and share conservation practices with us at UNDP. Moreover, students have the unique opportunity to meet and ask questions to experts from both communities (designers, workers, conservators etc.) working side by side on a common project”, explains Ms. Tiziana Zennaro, UNDP Programme Manager in Cyprus.

Katerina Lechou, a 23 years old student of architecture who took part in the student visit to Agios Panteleimonas Monastery offered by UNDP on the occasion of the International Day of Monuments and Sites commented: “The fact that you invite universities and the respective departments to visit the site and the works, helps with the advance of expertise for the next generation of scientists, so that we will be able to face relating issues in the future”.

Dr. Erçim Dolu, Assistant Professor of architecture added: “The information giving today has opened a new perspective in the architect. Usually, the values of the architect is based on design, however here reminds us how important is preserving the cultural heritage”.

Guided Tours of ongoing heritage conservation projects are offered all year round to undergraduate and graduate students groups accompanied by their professors. Tours can be customized to fit the interests of the group. Interested universities can request a tour via email at registry.pff.cy@undp.org indicating the estimated number of participating students, preferred date and time, and desired projects.

A list of EU funded and UNDP implemented projects of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage can be found here.
Group Tour requests will be accommodated at the discretion of UNDP and the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage depending on the safety of the sites and staff availability.