Restored Watermill/Aqueduct in Chrysochou/Hirsofu brings hundreds of people together

Jun 23, 2016

Our Shared Heritage #2: Messages from the Watermill

Nicosia, 23 June 2016 – More than 100 people attended yesterday the event marking the completion of conservation works to the watermill/aqueduct in Chrysochou/Hirsofu, in the Paphos region.

The event was organized by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and the European Commission.

Talking to the many Turkish Cypriots former residents of the village who attended the event, Ms. Tiziana Zennaro Programme Manager of the United Nations Development Programme in Cyprus said: “More and more often, we see the projects of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage triggering a movement of people across the island. People of different age, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, come together around a restored watermill, a church or a mosque, rebuilding a sense of common belonging to places that for many, until this moment, existed only in the memories of their relatives, in the stories of their parents”.

Around the monuments a particular relationship is built between people, a relationship which is so necessary for a new start. Heritage can work as a link connecting people in their common effort for its preservation and promotion, because is the heritage that we Cypriots share. Monuments are sending a message to us, silent and powerful, calling for awareness and cooperation. They are our wealth, and at the same time our opportunity for a better acquaintance and for building mutual respect. Personally, I count the projects promoted through the UNDP PFF between my most valuable experiences as an archaeological officer and as an individual” added Ms. Evi Fiouri, Greek Cypriot member of the Advisory Board of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

As explained by Mr. Ozge Samioglu, Turkish Cypriot member of the Advisory Board of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, “The restoration works of the watermill in Chrysochou/Hirsofu started in July 2015 and was completed in February 2016. A total of 107,000 Euro were spent for the overall restoration of the watermill complex. The watermill complex in Chrysochou/Hirsofu consists of 3 main structures, namely the water tower and the aquaduct, watermill house and the miller’s house. Inside the complex there is also an external gulley, a pebble-stone pathway and a transit arc made of concrete. The restoration efforts focused on rebuilding the walls that had previosuly collapsed, cleaning and strengthening the existing walls, applying stitches on to cracks, filling the joints, replacing the missing stones, improving the roof, floors, doors and windows. The old mill stones have also been placed in the mill house for display”.

The project was fully funded by the European Union that, with €8.1 million of European Union funds provided for the preservation of the island-wide cultural heritage, is the biggest supporter of the work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in Cyprus. 

Talking at the event, Ms. Michela Foresti, Head of Programme Team, European Commission said: “The rich cultural heritage that the two communities share in Cyprus is part of their shared identity. In Europe as a whole, our diverse cultural heritage shapes our common understanding of what it means to be European. There are as many things that unite Europeans as things that could divide us. But we made a choice. At one point in time we made a choice to overcome and accept the difference, embracing it as a sign of our identity. It was a choice driven by the belief that united in diversity we are stronger. That choice has brought prosperity and peace across the continent like in no other time in history. Hopefully Cypriots will soon make a similar choice”.

The watermill/aqueduct is the third project of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage to be completed in the Paphos region after the Paphos Hamam and the Mosque in Evretou/Evretu (completed in 2015). In Paphos region new designs are also being prepared for the Hamam/Bath (near Hasan Aga tomb), the Minaret of the Ebubekir mosque and the two mosques in Agios Nikolaos/Aynikola and in Agios Ioannis/Ayyanni.

 

Contact information

For more information please contact UNDP-PFF at:

Mail: media.pff.cy@undp.org / Tel. +357 22874733 or +90 392 2200027, Twitter: @undp_pff.