Having completed conservation work at the archaeological site of Salamis in northern Cyprus, the bicommunal technical committee on cultural heritage has work planned for a number of churches and mosques on both sides of the divide, committee member Sotos Ktoris told the Cyprus News Agency on Monday.
The Salamina project took eight months and saw archaeologists and other experts of both communities joining their efforts to preserve the mosaics, all the archaeological finds and the basilicas of Ayios Epiphanios and Kampanopetra in what was doubtless one of the most important initiatives ever undertaken by the technical committee, he said.
“These are monuments of extreme importance which testify to the brilliance of the ancient city of Constantia and mainly to its position as the most important Cypriot town of the pre-Byzantine era,” he said, describing the work as being of “emblematic importance”. Salamis was renamed Constantia in the early Christian period.
Projects currently underway and expected to be completed soon are the churches of Ayios Georgios in Genagra and Vatyli, the churches of Ayia Marina and Panayia tis Trapezas in Acheritou, the church of Profitis Elias in Stylous Famagusta, Zouhouri tekke in Larnaca, the church of Ayios Synesios in Rizokarpasso and the church of Panayia tis Kyras in Komi Kepir.
The committee has already awarded tenders for the mosque at Orounta and the Ottoman hammam in Larnaca, while bids for several other projects are in their final stages of evaluation, including phase B of Ayios Andreas Monastery, the church of Ayios Antonis at Massari, the church of Panayia tis Chyseleousis in Sisklipos, the Cambulat Bastion on the Venetian walls of Famagusta and Ayios Georgios in Ardana.
This year, the committee will be inviting bids for projects whose studies have been completed for Panayia Kanakaria in Lynthrangomi, Ayios Georgios in Goufes, Panayia chrch in Gypsou, the mosque at Kalo Chorio Larnaca, the mosque at Lefkara, the mosque at Maroni, phase two of the church of Ayios Charalambos at New Chorio Kythreas, two Ottoman fountains in Larnaca, the church of Ayios Georgios in Prastio and the church of the same name in Spathariko.
Looking further ahead, the committee is planning work at the archaeological sites of Soloi and Vouni. Urgent repairs are expected to be carried out on a number of churches and mosques to avert their collapse or further deterioration, he added.
Bicommunal teams of experts are working on studies for the mosques at Terra, Avdimou and Alektora, the churches of Ayios Sergios and Vakos in Neta (Karpasia), Ayia Paraskevi in Famagusta, Ayios Ioannis in Argaki, Ayios Georgios in Flamoudi, Ayios Georgios in Limnia and Ayios Elias Famagusta and Diamante tower on the Venetian walls of Famagusta.