Study of Cultural Heritage

What is the project about


The project aimed to undertake a study on the condition and estimated costs of restoring the immovable cultural heritage of Cyprus in order to contribute to its protection and preservation.

Background – The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage

In 2008 the European Parliament requested the European Commission to carry out a Study of the cultural heritage in the northern part of Cyprus. The aim of the project was to carry out a study on the conditions, and estimated costs of restoring cultural heritage in the northern part of Cyprus.

On 26 March 2008, the Advisers to the Cypriot leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, agreed on the establishment of working groups and technical committees as required, as mutually acceptable mechanisms created with purpose of developing confidence building measures that could improve the atmosphere of the peace talks and demonstrate that the two communities can work together.

Within this framework, in April 2008, the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage was established. The Committee works to provide a mutually acceptable mechanism for the implementation of practical measures for the proper maintenance, preservation, physical protection and restoration (including research, study and survey) of the immovable cultural heritage of Cyprus.

In 2009 the “Advisory Board for the Preservation, Physical Protection and Restoration of the Immovable Cultural Heritage of Cyprus” was set up by a decision of the two leaders. The aim of the Board is to facilitate the protection and the preservation of the immovable cultural heritage of Cyprus. This mechanism 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.

Our Role

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.

What have we accomplished so far

 inventory chart

The study was conducted between April and December 2010 and was developed in three phases:

  1. Review of the existing inventories already carried out by other donors
  2. Ranking methodology in order to prioritize monuments for which technical assessments would be carry out
  3. Technical assessments of built heritage

The study was divided into four chapters: Famagusta Walled City, Ottoman Architecture, northern part of Cyprus, and bi-communal list of 40 sites.

Review of existing inventories
: a number of inventories of cultural heritage assets have been produced through the course of the years. Besides the identification of the existing inventories, the aim of the review was to ascertain the criteria on the basis of which previous inventories had been carried out.
As a result of this review, 2800 cultural heritage sites of particular historical, archaeological and architectural significance were identified and approx. 700 new inventory charts including historical background, pictures, plot numbers and architectural sketches of each monument were compiled.

Ranking Methodology:
In parallel with the first activity, UNDP-PFF assisted the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and the Advisory Board to establish a ranking methodology - in line with the best international practices – that would enable to prioritize future interventions. The ranking criteria identified were: historical value, scientific value, social value, rarity and uniqueness, representativeness value. All cultural heritage sites were evaluated against these criteria applying a point scale of numbering 1 to 5 to achieve a consistent and qualitative ranking.

Technical Assessments:
121 cultural heritage sites – based on the highest ranked sites of Phase 2 (Ranking methodology) - were subject to Technical Assessments with the objective to acquire information on the current conditions of the monuments and costing needs for future restoration projects. Each Technical Assessment included an historic background, a present condition summary, a site assessment (of historic, scientific, social, rarity, economic and technical factors as well as risks and challeges), conservation strategy of the potentiality, as well as costing of restoring and emergency.

It is envisaged to publish a summary of this study during the course of 2014.

Who finances it?

Donor Funding
European Union 418,881 EUR

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