European Year of Cultural Heritage

Apr 18, 2018

Nicosia, 18 April 2018 –  2018 was declared by the European Union the “European Year of Cultural Heritage”. Throughout 2018, thousands of initiatives and events across Europe will allow citizens from all backgrounds to become involved. The aim is to reach out to the widest possible audience, in particular children and young people, local communities and people who are rarely exposed to culture, to promote a common sense of belonging. 

The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in Cyprus salutes this initiative and, on the occasion of the International Day of Monuments and Sites, is pleased to announce a new series of EU funded conservation projects and events through which it plans to mark the year in Cyprus.

Since 2012, thanks mainly to European Union and UNDP support, the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage has conserved, structurally supported, physically protected or restored 23 heritage sites island wide. 6 are currently undergoing conservation works. Another 15 are currently under study and will benefit from similar interventions soon. 26 sites benefited from Small Project Activities (SPA). In total, 70 initiatives are being undertaken by the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

The European Year of Cultural Heritage is a unique occasion to promote our work internationally and to spread it in every corner of our island. Through exhibitions and community events we want to bring more and more people closer to our work and make them discover their shared heritage” – Ali Tuncay, Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

Since 2010, thanks to European Union funding and UNDP support, we have completed 23 heritage conservation projects islandwide. This included churches, mosques, watermills, hamams and fortifications. We reached locations where traditional peacebuilding projects do not arrive. We have brought people back to their villages and facilitated new encounters. Cultural Heritage is already playing an important role in the Cypriot peace process. The European Year of Cultural Heritage is a call to do more and achieve even bigger results.” – Takis Hadjidemetriou, Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

According to a very recent Eurobarometer survey, 8 out of 10 Europeans believe that cultural heritage is important not only to them personally, but also to their community, region, country and the EU as a whole. A very large majority take pride in cultural heritage, whether it is in their own region or country, or in another European country. 

"The European Union is a proud partner of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and UNDP in Cyprus. In the European Year of Cultural Heritage we will continue to support the conservation and use of Cultural Heritage sites as confidence building meeting points. It is very important to understand the capacity of monuments to bring people together, around a shared heritage that goes beyond communities. The work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage is a great example of collaboration and reconciliation between Cypriots. I hope that 2018, as European Year of Cultural Heritage, will bring bigger contributions to reconciliation in Cyprus." Kjartan Bjornsson, Head of Unit, Structural Reform Support Service, European Commission.

UNDP remains committed to continue supporting the work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

We fully support the efforts of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage. At least eight heritage conservation projects will be completed in 2018. Other initiatives such as open days to our ongoing and future projects are underway and part of a larger effort to promote the work of the Technical Committee throughout the island.” – Tiziana Zennaro, UNDP Senior Programme Manager.

The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, the European Commission and UNDP would like to take this opportunity to invite the public and members of the media to attend the public walk and guided tour of its ongoing Famagusta projects this Saturday April 21st, 2018. Participants will be guided through the Martinengo Bastion, St. Mary's of Carmel Church, Tanner's Mosque, St. Anne Church, St. Mary Church and Ravelin (Land Gate) by the designers and conservation experts working daily on these projects.

The event is upon registration only. Participation is free. Transportation from Nicosia will be provided, upon availability of seats, leaving at 9:00am from the Ledra Palace Crossing. Please register at: or via phone at: +357 22874733 / +90392 2200027. For those joining with their own means of transportation, the meeting point is at 10:00am at the entrance of the Martinengo Bastion.

For more information and media enquiries please contact UNDP at: or Tel. +357 22874733 or +90392 2200027.

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