Numerous Turkish Cypriots who hail from Paphos attended on Satruday a ceremony, marking the completion of restoration works at the hamam in Kato Paphos and the minaret of the Kebir mosque -church of Agia Sofia in Mouttalos.
The restoration of both monuments, highlighting Paphos’ multicultural past, was completed by the bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage and UNDP, with EU funding. Officials from all organizations involved attended the gathering.
Addressing the event, the Turkish Cypriot Head of the Technical Committee Ali Tuncay said that the hamam in Kato Paphos and the mosque in Moutallos are two important monuments, that have been used for centuries by people calling Paphos their homeland.
He also announced that the Technical Committee will embark on a programme to restore cemeteries, while Evkaf also aspires to contribute in this endeavor, starting with the cemetery next to the mosque.
In his address, the Greek Cypriot Head of the Technical Committee Takis Hadjidemetriou said that the Department of Antiquities played a very substantial role in restoring the monuments. He also thanked archeologist Tuncer Bagiskan for the information he collected about the monuments.
We cannot solve all our problems through culture, however we can pass the message of our joint trajectory, our shared pain and our shared hope for a better and peaceful future.
Kjartan Bjornsson, the European Commission’s Head of Unit for Cyprus Settlement Support said that the first six months of 2019 have been a true ‘harvesting season’ for their work to protect cultural heritage in Cyprus. This is the fifth big event of the year linked to the Technical Committee and the second one in Paphos, he added.
Tiziana Zennaro, UNDP Senior Programme Manager, noted form her part that these monuments are particularly important for having served not just as places of worship, but also as social and economic hubs for all communities of Cyprus. She said finally that these are two out of 33 cultural heritage sites which the Technical Committee restored since 2008 together with UNDP, with the financial support of the EU.