Tiziana Zennaro: Speech at the project completion ceremony of Deneia/Denya Mosque

Dec 5, 2014

Dear Denyans, Dear Mukhtar, Dear members of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, Dear European Commission Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen

Denya Mosque marked the beginning of our joint efforts for the preservation of Cyprus’ cultural heritage. It was the first site in 2012 to benefit from emergency measures, and the first mosque to be conserved by the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

The history of this conservation project reflects the technical growth of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and of our cooperation with them as UNDP.

This mosque is an example of how the success of our projects hides in little, patient and measured practical steps.

Initially, as I mentioned, we completed the emergency measures - which means for those of you who are not technical - that the structure of the mosque was strengthen and preserved from further damages.

As our joint cultural heritage preservation efforts matured, and heritage preservation activities began to create confidence, together with the Technical Committee we elevated most of our projects from emergency measures to conservation.

Denya Mosque was provided with a roof, doors and windows, flooring as well as the courtyard was landscaped and perimeter wall was completed. This practise is now being implemented to most of our cultural heritage projects islandwide. This strategic change was necessary to ensure a longer-term sustainability and may be conducive for a possible future use.

The direction set by Deneia/Denya Mosque, and the little project history I just described you, demonstrate us once again that cultural reconstruction can lay the foundations for a better future, and as UNDP we will continue to support Cypriots in this process.

Let me conclude by thanking the Mukhtar of Deneia/Denya  Mr. Christakis Panayiotou  for his invaluable support and cooperation,  the representatives and the members  of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage,our colleagues from the European Commission without whom this project  would not have been possible.

Thank to my UNDP colleagues for all efforts.

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