Greek Cypriot head of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage Takis Hadjidemetriou is due to step down from his post, an official announcement said on Friday.

Hadjidemetriou communicated his decision to President Nicos Anastasiades, who will award him with the Medal of Outstanding Contribution for his years of dedicated service during a special ceremony at the Presidential Palace on February 3.

Hadjidemetriou was born in Nicosia in 1934. He studied to become a dentist at the Kapodistrian University of Athens, a profession he practised throughout his entire working life before getting involved in politics.

He was one of the founding members of political party, socialist Edek, in 1969 and was elected MP for the first time in the 1976 parliamentary elections for the electoral district of Nicosia. He was then re-elected in the 1985, 1991 and 1996 parliamentary elections. In total he spent 20 years as an MP.

He was appointed coordinator of Cyprus’ harmonisation with the European Union ahead of accession and was a supporter of the 2004 Annan Plan, a failed United Nations proposal to resolve the Cyprus dispute.

Hadjidemetriou became the head of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in 2008, when bicommunal committees were established in Cyprus under then President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader at the time, Mehmet Ali Talat.

Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage has been one of, if not the most successful of the technical committees, renovating and restoring dozens of churches, mosques and monuments on both sides of the divide with EU and UN support for the projects.

Sotos Ktoris, already a member of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, has been named as the new head, the announcement added.