The maintenance work of Arsenal/Canbulat Bastion in Famagusta has been concluded according to the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage (TCCH).
Officials stressed the importance of the role of cultural preservation towards reunification of the island during the event marking the completion of the project held on the site of the bastion in the north.
The Director-General of the Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support at the European Commission Mario Nava said Cyprus’ cultural heritage holds exceptional importance. “The preservation of its cultural monuments is a collective responsibility. The significance of restoring and maintaining these monuments goes beyond their historical value; it serves as a tool for community reunification, fostering trust, and promoting communication,” he noted.
Expressing gratitude to the EU, the TCCH, and all contributors, Head of UNDP Cyprus Jakhongir Khaydarov, emphasised that the completion of the restoration work underscores the timeless cultural wealth of Famagusta, aligning with the fundamental principles of the United Nations.
For his part, the Greek Cypriot co-chair of TCCH Sotos Ktoris, stressed the responsibility of preserving every cultural monument for the sake of history and future generations. He also noted how each preserved monument contributes to building trust and mutual understanding, ultimately supporting reconciliation and the vision of a peaceful and prosperous Cyprus.
His statements echoed the Turkish Cypriot co-chair of TCCH Ali Tuncay, who highlighted that the collaboration between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots in restoring Arsenal/Canbulat bastion and other monuments showcases the transformative potential of cooperation for the benefit of both sides.
Attendees tried the VR technology allowing them to virtually explore Cyprus’ diverse cultural heritage sites through Cyprusdigitalheritage.com.
The works were fully funded by the European Union (EU) and executed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project’s completion was celebrated on Saturday, which was attended by the TCCH, the European Commission, UNDP representatives, EU ambassadors, and the general public.
The Arsenal/Canbulat bastion, dating back to the early 13th century, bears traces of various civilizations that have influenced the island. The current tower replaced the original Lusignan round tower and underwent further modifications by the Ottomans.
Part of the works included the replacement of stones, reconstruction of the collapsed retaining wall and collapsed part of the northeast platform, consolidation of the southern curtain wall with rubble stone and extensive vegetation removal at the masonry walls.
With a total funding of €35.6 million, collected from various donors, TCCH has worked on priorities related to the preservation of Cyprus’ cultural heritage across the entire island. The project, financed by the European Commission and implemented by UNDP in collaboration with TCCH, stands as a testament to the commitment to preserving Cyprus’ rich cultural legacy.