Two mosques restored in the Paphos region

Nov 23, 2017

Nearly 200 people took part in the completion ceremony of conservation works to the two mosques of Agios Nicolaos/Aynikola and Agios Ioannis/Ayyani in the Paphos region

Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage representatives Mr Glafkos Constantinides and Mr. Ali Tuncay, Head of European Commision Cyprus Settlement Support Unit, Structural Reform Support Service, Mr. Kjarntan Bjornsson and UNDP’s Senior Programme Manager Ms. Tiziana Zennaro gave a speech at the ceremony.

Reading a message on behalf of Takis Hadjidemetriou, Mr. Constantinides referred to Ayios Nikolaos and Ayios Ioannis as villages once buzzing with life "Highly populated villages in an enchanting landscape with serene hillsides"; he highlighted the connections exisiting between people and places and how the work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage aims to reconstruct a common homeland.

"These events are not only taking you back to the land of your grandfathers and grandmothers but also to the past, to your memories; bitter or sweet"  said Mr. Ali Tuncay emphasizing how cultural heritage and different cultures should no longer be factors that cause conflicts but factors that contribute to cooperation, peace and prosperous living of both communities. 

"I have come to understand that all the Cultural Heritage projects that are supported by the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage are very special. These buildings enclose the shared history of the people of Cyprus within their walls. They inspire us to also build a shared future for the island, one in which the people of Cyprus can thrive together." said Mr Kjarntan Bjornsson, Head of Unit Cyprus Settlement Support, Structural Reform Support Service and European Commission stating that he believes all Cultural Heritage projects are having an impact on the future of Cyprus and a better future for all Cypriots.

"Your numerous attendance today teaches us three main lessons to carry with us, as together with European Union colleagues, we plan the future phases of our cultural heritage programme" said UNDP Cyprus Senior Programme Manager Tiziana Zennaro "First, to never underestimate the connections existing between places and people. Even when many years have passed and people have relocated. Second, to never underestimate the impact that even a small-size project in rural areas can have on the overall peace and reconciliation process. Third that cultural heritage conservation projects have the potential of encouraging inter-island movements, giving push to new encounters, and promoting dialogue."

The completion of conservation works to the two mosques of Agios Nicolaos/Aynikola and Agios Ioannis/Ayyani concludes of a very successful year of partnership between the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, UNDP and the European Commission. It also marks the beginning of a new 3MLN Euro EU funded phase of the programme. 

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