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Cyprus

Work on smaller heritage sites to be sped up

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SMALL-SCALE heritage sites protection is about to be accelerated islandwide, the bi-communal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage announced on Thursday.

“The Small Project Activities (SPA) initiative focus on grass-roots, low-cost interventions on monuments requiring simple, small-scale works capable of producing early results and bringing local communities closer to the work of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage,” a joint press release from the committee, the European Commission and the United Nations said.

Examples of Small Project Activities are: internal and external site cleaning, removal of vegetation from roofs and walls, minor repairs, replacement of doors, fences and windows to heritage sites.

Six projects are ongoing or about to start under the current, EU-funded phase, Ayios Andonios in Kythrea, Ayios Charalambos in Akanthou, Ayios Sozomenos in Davlos, Mathiatis mosque in the Nicosia district and Koprulu and Arnavut mosques in Limassol.

Under this phase, four SPA projects have already been completed. Under a previous phase, 10 projects were carried out.

SPA projects, depending on the location, are implemented by local communities, relevant bodies and by the Islamic foundation EVKAF in partnership with UNDP and the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.

Started in 2012 as an independent initiative of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, the SPA project was later included under the EU funded and UNDP implemented programme ‘Support to Monuments of Great Importance for the

Communities of Cyprus’ with an overall budget allocation of  €45,000.

Since 2012 approximately €8.1 million in European Union funds have been provided by the European Commission for the preservation of the island’s cultural heritage, making it the biggest financial supporter of the committee’s work.

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