Othello Tower/Citadel to reopen this week

Jun 29, 2015

 

Nicosia, 29/06/2015 – This week marks the end of a long wait for the residents of Famagusta and cultural heritage lovers in Cyprus and beyond. A Grand Opening Ceremony will be held on Thursday 02 July 2015 in the courtyard of the Othello Tower/Citadel in Famagusta to inaugurate the reopening of the monument to the public and the completion of Phase 1 of conservation and structural consolidation works.

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Grand Opening 2 July 2015

The Grand Opening Event of 02nd July 2015 is upon invitation only. Media wishing to cover the event are requested to register by sending an email at media.pff.cy@undp.org indicating if transportation is required. A bus for media transportation will be departing from Nicosia at 5,45pm. PLEASE NOTE: ONLY REGISTERED MEMBERS OF THE PRESS WILL BE ALLOWED TO COVER THE EVENT.

The event will include speeches from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Representatives of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, EU and UNDP Representatives. The programme of the night will also include a theatre performance of the “Othello” by William Shakespeare, adapted and directed by young Turkish Cypriot director Izel Seylani featuring a bi-communal cast of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot actors. At the conclusion of the event a panel exhibition on the works carried out during the project will be inaugurated.

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3 – 4 July 2015

The theatre performance of “Othello” will be repeated for the public on Friday 03 and Saturday 04 July 2015 at 9pm. Admission to this two-night event is free and on a first-come, first-served basis. The public is advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors will be open as of 19:30pm. Seating is limited (300 seats – no reservation of seats). The performance will be in English. More information are available on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/987715454594540/. Free bus transportation will be provided.

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Background

The reopening of the Othello Tower/Citadel has long been a priority in the work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage. Leading up to this week’s opening events, important steps have been taken dating back to 2012 when the study “Survey, Investigations, Assessment and Project Design” was carried out by the Spanish company Tecnalia.

Structural consolidations and conservation works began in May 2014 and were implemented by the United Nations Development Programme Partnership for the Future (UNDP-PFF). The project cost slightly over one million euros, fully funded by the European Union.

The project focused mainly on emergency masonry stabilisation works to walls, arches and other unstable sections and strengthening of areas where losses/collapses had occurred over the years. A proper drainage system was constructed to canalise and take away water, which was one of the most damaging causes of deterioration for the Tower/Citadel. New roof layers were installed with compatible materials to avoid rainwater infiltration in the future. Visitors’ information features were also be provided as well as accessibility at ground level and sanitary facilities to persons with disabilities.

When it opens on Thursday, the Othello Tower/Citadel will be the eleventh project completed by the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage since its establishment in 2008, thanks to the successful partnership with the European Commission and the UNDP.

Following this week’s events, the Othello Tower/Citadel will open to the public.

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Programme for the Othello Tower/Citadel Grand Opening – EVENT UPON INVITATION/REGISTRATION ONLY

Thursday, 02 July 2015

17:45 Buses for the media depart from the Ledra Palace Crossing

19.00 Arrival at event venue located inside the Othello Tower/Citadel in Famagusta

19-19.30 Representatives of the local authorities, European Union, UNDP and Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage arrive to event venue (photo opportunity and press opportunities and establishing shots)

19.30 Opening ceremony

Welcome address by Tiziana Zennaro of UNDP-Partnership for the Future

Speeches by:

Mr. Ali Tuncay, Turkish Cypriot Representative of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage

Mr. Takis Hadjidemetriou, Greek Cypriot Representative of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage

Mrs. Cihan Sultanoğlu - Assistant Secretary- General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (RBEC)

Mr. Normunds Popens - Deputy Director-General for Implementation, DG Regional and Urban Policy - European Commission

20.20 Unveiling of the plaque (photo opportunity)

20:30 Theatre Performance “Othello”

21:10 Opening of exhibition “Othello Tower/Citadel: A door to the future” and reception with music by a bi- communal string trio.

22:00 Official event concludes

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For more information and media bus reservation please contact UNDP-PFF at: media.pff.cy@undp.org or at Tel. +357 22874733+357 22874733 or +90392 2200027+90392 2200027

More information on on-going projects of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage can be found here: http://www.cy.undp.org/content/cyprus/en/home/operations/projects/partnershipforthefuture/support-to-cultural-heritage-monuments-of-great-importance-for-c.html

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The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage

The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, established by the decision of the two Leaders, works in line and within the mutually agreed framework for the preservation of the island’s common heritage. The Committee upholds and promotes the view that the protection of cultural heritage is an integral part of the ongoing process of broadening the area of cooperation and confidence building between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, which can only be achieved through joint efforts. Through its work the Committee aims to achieve the best possible results for the stability, survival, cultural and social value and protection of selected Monuments. For this purpose the Committee set up the Advisory Board to act as its executive body to pursue actions for the actual implementation of designs for selected monuments, including research, study, survey and conservation. This framework 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 situation on the ground.

United Nations Development Programme – Partnership for the Future (UNDP-PFF)

The Agreement on the establishment of the Advisory Board for the Preservation, Physical Protection and Restoration of the Immovable Cultural Heritage of Cyprus recognizes a special role to UNDP in Cyprus as a politically accepted implementation body by both communities. For this reason, UNDP-PFF was requested by the European Commission to become the lead coordinator under which the project would be implemented fostering dialogue, cooperation and confidence building between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

European Union

Since 2012 approximately €6.7 million of European Union funds have been provided by the European Commission to implement the priorities of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage for the preservation of the island-wide cultural heritage in Cyprus. The European Union is the biggest supporter of the work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in Cyprus.

Contact information

For more information and media bus reservation please contact UNDP-PFF at: media.pff.cy@undp.org or at Tel. +357 22874733+357 22874733 or +90392 2200027+90392 2200027