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Top European award for committee protecting heritage sites across the divide

cultural com
Members of the bicommunal technical committee on cultural heritage

The bicommunal technical committee on cultural heritage (TCCH) has been awarded the 2021 European Heritage Award, in recognition of its key work in conservation projects.

An event was held on Wednesday to celebrate the Europa Nostra Award and the Grand Prix Laureate, where officials from the European Commission, UN, and UNDP gathered.

Congratulating the TCCH, Myrto Zambarta, head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, said the bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage remains a key component of the reconciliation and confidence-building actions supported by the EU in Cyprus.

The committee’s work, she said, centres on cultural heritage as a powerful tool for peaceful cooperation and for the creation of a climate of reconciliation.

The committee was established in 2008, and according to a 2021 report it has since conserved more than 70 monuments of great historical, archaeological, religious and societal importance on both sides of the divide.

Equally composed of representatives of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities, the committee has received funding from the EU, the Church of Cyprus, the Evkaf administration, USAID, and others.

Takis Hadjidemetriou, co-chairman of the committe spoke about its work, saying that: “If the committee has been working constructively for so many years, we owe it mainly to the spirit of honesty and trust that, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, have established between us, far from any expediencies or controversies, with only concern for Cyprus and its monuments.”

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