Conservation works of the Watermill/Aqueduct at Chrysochou/Hirsofu completed

Jun 16, 2016

Nicosia, 16 June 2016 – The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, the European Commission and the United Nations Development Programme are pleased to announce the completion of conservation works to the Watermill/Aqueduct in Chrysochou/Hirsofu.

A project completion ceremony will take place on Wednesday 22nd June 2016 at 11,30am. Members of the media are invited to cover the ceremony. Transportation is provided upon registration at: registry.pff.cy@undp.org.

After so many years we are still very much attached to our village, with its old stone houses, the mosque, and its old bridge. The restoration of the Watermill/Aqueduct make us very happy and gives us hope that our village as we remember it will continue to be there for our children and next generations to see” – told UNDP Mr. Metin Ertop, a former resident of the village, who today dedicates his free time to collect memories and photographs of the village.

Greek Cypriots residents of the village also welcome the completion of the project: “It is a true blessing that this watermill was not left to ruination” said Mr. Andreas Kouniaedes, muhtar of Chrysochou. “Now the watermill will remain here for the future generations to learn how these mills used to function before the development of modern mechanical devices”.

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/Ayanni.

As we already witnessed in other small villages, the importance of monuments in the heart and living memories of its people often oversize its community. The restoration of Chrysochou/Hirsofu’s watermill/aqueduct and the way this project was welcome by the local residents gives us hope that our work is perceived as important for peace in Cyprus and as a resource for sustainable development and reconciliation” – Takis Hadjidemetriou and Ali Tuncay, Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

The Watermill/Aqueduct is an impressive complex that consists of several structures of different periods of construction of special cultural relevance. Works, implemented by UNDP, started in July 2015 and were completed in February 2016, with the main aim of repairing the stone structures to prevent further possible collapse. All works have been done respecting and preserving the authentic character and identity of the original building.

Until the middle of the 20th century watermills formed an integral part of everyday life in the Cypriot countryside. Mills were places of social interaction. Today, preserved and restored, monuments can return to have a powerful role in building bridges between people” – Tiziana Zennaro, UNDP Programme Manager.

In particular, conservation works at the Watermill and Aqueduct included: restoration of stone walls including repair of damaged walls and reassembling of millstones; removal of vegetation causing damage and chasing by appropriate material to prevent future (re)growth; restoration of the roof; installation of a new door; construction of new retaining wall for the aqueduct; restoration of stone stairs; conservation and protection of existing elements (stone and wood) of the mill mechanism and rainwater management. The millers’ house upper floor was also restored, including installation of doors and windows.

The European Commission works in close partnership with the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and the United Nations Development Programme for the preservation of the rich cultural heritage in Cyprus from the very beginning of its work in this very important area for reconciliation and confidence building between the two communities in Cyprus, which is funded by the EU under the dedicated programme of financial assistance for the Turkish Cypriot community. The achievements of the Technical Committee are a remarkable example of how Cypriots can work together to protect their common legacy for the future generations." – Michela Foresti, European Commission.

Works have been fully funded by the European Union, for an amount of approx. 107,000 Euro.

Transportation is provided upon registration at: registry.pff.cy@undp.org. A bus will depart from Nicosia at 8:30 am from Ledra Palace crossing.

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.