The award of the Technical Committee of Cultural Heritage with the grand prize in the Category of Cultural Heritage Offer by Organizations or Persons (Grand Prix 2021) at the European Heritage Awards of Europa Nostra, must be given to the Cypriot people as a whole, because it has the His cultural heritage and he is the one who supports the Commission itself, Takis Hatzidimitriou told KYPE.
The head of the Commission spoke to KYPE on the occasion of the award that took place on Thursday in the framework of the Summit of the European Cultural Heritage in Venice, a City of World Cultural Heritage. The award was received on behalf of the bi-communal Technical Committee by Ali Tountzai and Sotos Ktoris.
Mr. Hatzidimitriou noted in KYPE that what makes the difference this year is that the Commission was given the big award for its dedication to the effort to preserve the cultural heritage on the island.
“The work of the Commission was especially praised for the volume of work it has done, but also for the cooperation of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, people with different religious and racial presence. This was praised because it is indicative that there can be collaborations in countries with different population composition. “A wider dimension was given that the Technical Committee of Cyprus was able to deliver a project with a wider response”, said Mr. Hatzidimitriou.
Top distinction – the winners
The awards are Europe’s top cultural heritage award.
The jury said of the Cyprus distinction that “this unique model of cooperation between two communities, despite the difficult political context, is an important example of commitment to the preservation of cultural heritage.”
“The uninterrupted and peaceful activities of the Commission, which are carried out by volunteer experts from both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, demonstrate their courage and hope,” the jury said.
The four winners of the Grand Prix and the Public Choice Award were selected from 24 winners this year from 18 European countries. The ceremony is one of the highlights of the European Cultural Heritage Summit.
The four winners are the Technical Committee of Cultural Heritage of Cyprus founded in 2008 and has successfully restored over 70 monuments, using cultural heritage as a powerful tool of reconciliation and peaceful cooperation, FIBRANET – Fibers in Ancient European Fabrics, (Greece / Dan , an innovative research project that provides new information on the degradation of ancient fibers, the Wooden Church of the village of Urși, in the county of Vâlcea, Romania, 18th century restored using traditional materials and techniques in a collaborative way, allowing the exchange of ideas and knowledge between participants from around the world and the Invention of a Guilty Party, Trento, Italy, an exemplary report that examines the correlation of a historic anti-Semitism case with contemporary debates about discrimination and intolerance in Europe today, raising critical concerns about power of propaganda and lies water news (“fake news”).
The winners of the Grand Prix, selected by the Board of Directors of Europa Nostra after setting up an independent jury of scientists, will each receive € 10,000.
EP President David Sassoli in a congratulatory message to the 24 winners said that each of them has contributed to the protection, strengthening and promotion of our rich cultural heritage and the common reconstruction of Europe’s future.
“Each of our winners clearly demonstrates the potential of our common cultural heritage to help rebuild a more resilient, inclusive and beautiful Europe,” he said.
During the ceremony, the two winners of the ILUCIDARE 2021 Special Awards, HAP4MARBLE – Hydroxyapatite Marble Conservation (Italy), for excellence in cultural heritage innovation and the EU-LAC Museums – Museums, Community – were also unveiled. Sustainability in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean (UK), for excellence in international relations based on cultural heritage.
Commission work and ongoing projects
Many of the monuments and ensembles restored by the Technical Committee include the monastery of Apostle Andreas, the Tower of Othello and the walls of Famagusta, which were first built by the Lusignans in the 12th century and modified over the centuries by the Genoese. Venetians, the Ottomans and the British, Byzantine churches of unique importance, mosques, aqueducts and more.
Takis Hatzidimitriou told KYPE that, among other things, maintenance works are underway on the mosaics in Salamina, Panagia tis Kyra, Agios Georgios Vatilis, Agia Marina and Acheritou. He also mentioned that the works in Agios Georgios in Avlona were completed.
Regarding Panagia tis Kyra and Agios Georgios Avlonas, Mr. Hatzidimitriou said that these are Byzantine buildings and Panagia tis Kyra belongs to the category of Panagia Aggeloktistis with mosaics, an arch from the first Byzantine period and a dome from the middle Byzantine time.
He also mentioned that according to information it was an old monastery church and is one of the most important monuments in Cyprus.
Works soon begin in Agios Sergios and Bacchus, a small church also of the Byzantine period.