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Restoration works on Hamam and mosque completed (Updated with quotes)

The Paphos Hamam

The completion ceremonies for the restoration of the Paphos Haman and the Tserkezoi/Ҫerkez Mosque in Limassol took place on Wednesday with the participation of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot heads of the Joint Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

The two projects were completed with the cooperation of the United Nations Development Programme Partnership for the Future (UNDP-PFF) and the European Union.

According to the Greek Cypriot head of the committee Takis Hadjidemetriou the haman had been abandoned for decades to the point where trees had been growing out of the roof.

Hadjidemetriou said he was proud and happy to be able to deliver the finished project to the city of Paphos. It would be an asset to the town when it hosts the 2017 European Capital of Culture events, he added.

He also said the completion of the project showed “what could be achieved  through the spirit of cooperation”, and he thanked all those who had made it a reality. Several more projects were in the pipeline, he added.

“Through our monuments we continue learning about events of our history that were not known,” he said later at the Limassol ceremony. “These are only a few scraps of our history but enough to reveal our many roads along with the many of people of different backgrounds… all those Christians and Muslims who erected places of worship and assimilated with the country and its people. When we better know our country, then we can find what unites us and move forward on the path of peace and progress.”

Turkish Cypriot committee head Ali Tuncay also spoke of the common cultural heritage in Cyprus and said he was proud of how much the joint technical committee had accomplished so far.

The Hamam is situated in the archaeological area of the Church of Ayia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa in Paphos. Its preserved structure lies in the corner of Stasandrou and Pafias Afroditis Street, a few metres north of St. Paul’s Pillar.

The Hamam is also known as the ‘Medieval Turkish Bath’. The period during which it was built is difficult to determine. While on the one hand it corresponds to the typical ottoman arrangement of warm rooms, hot rooms and a cistern, on the other hand it possesses the appearance of a bath belonging to a much larger complex erected during the medieval period.

The interventions carried out for this monument comprised general restoration of the stonework, rendering of walls, cleaning of interior floor, repairs to the external and internal surfaces of the domes, including general waterproofing. Cleaning and pointing of the interior surfaces of the vaults, repairs to the collapsed first vault, excavations in the south-west corner and exposure of the findings. The total cost of the project was approximately €53,760 including design, works and supervision, which was fully funded by the European Union.

The Tserkezoi/Ҫerkez mosque is located in Tserkezoi district, some five kilometres west of Limassol, on the road leading to Asomatos village. The Mosque was the principal Muslim religious building of the old Tserkezoi/Ҫerkez farm, which was built during the Ottoman period. The interventions carried out for this monument comprised of cleaning the site including removal of vegetation, sanitation to the wall footing and buttress, improved drainage and prevention of further erosion of the external stonewall, repairs to walls including restoration of stonework and rebuilding and sealing of joints, re-pointing and re-plastering with lime mortar. The total cost of the project was approximately €25,380 and was also fully funded by the European Union.

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