Walls are tumbling down
The project, supported by the UNDP (UN Development Programme), is being carried out by the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage.
The first stage from Girne Gate to Çetinkaya Burcu – which faces the Ledra Palace hotel in the buffer zone, will also take in the areas around the Presidency building in the Arapahmet area.
A large section of the 16th century defensive walls, part of Quirini Bastion near the Presidential Palace, was fixed last month after it collapsed last July.
The work to the nearly 750-year-old structure comes following concern expressed from both sides over damage due to negligence, overgrowing vegetation, humidity, and building of illegal structures.
The co-chair of the technical committee, Ali Tuncay, said: “The walls are an important cultural heritage and needs to be protected. Work has been started to revamp the damaged or partially demolished walls with the support of UNDP, which we hope to complete by the end of summer.
“The first part of the work was to conserve and clean up the walls that had plants and trees growing out of them – that has now been completed. We are now looking at the parts of the walls where there is damage.”
He explained that there were many “holes” that had emerged in the walls – one example being in the Çağlayan quarter where the the Anıbal restaurant used to be located. Paint and graffiti will also be cleaned.
Mr Tuncay said: “Irrespective of who built cultural heritage sites, they all are a part of the identity and culture of Cyprus, and they are a reflection of the past that needs to be protected.
He called on the Government to allocate funds to protect and conserve cultural heritage sites and to leave them in good order for the future, recommending that money from entry tickets to museums could be channelled for this.
Last week, Cyprus Today revealed a multi-million pound plan to transform the centre of the capital, including work to preserve the area’s historic houses.
CAPTION pic with kids: Parts of the walls in the Çağlayan quarter are crumbling away.