Here you have a small summary of the analysis of the situation of cultural heritage and interventions in public spaces in Cyprus. In the e-Book of the project you will find more information about it.
Republic of Cyprus accepted the UNESCO World Heritage Convention on August 14, 1975, which named three the World Heritage Sites in Cyprus: the ancient city of Paphos, the Painted Churches in the Troödos Region and the Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia.
On an international level, Cyprus has ratified the most important international conventions on cultural heritage:
- Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage;
- The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention;
- The Council of Europe Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property.
The Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO is a part of the global network of national bodies, which cooperate with UNESCO to implement and promote projects and activities within the five main thematic sectors of the Organisation:
- Natural Sciences;
- Human Sciences, Communication and Information.
The aim of the network is to make the work of UNESCO more visible and to provide information on different opportunities as well as events that take place in Cyprus and abroad. Politistiko Ergastiri Ayion Omoloyioton is member of the UNESCO National Commission and a presentation in Paris regarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage has been made by the organization.
If we consider the cultural heritage of Cyprus, the nature has a special importance because of the beaches, rivers, waterfalls, mountains (Pentadactilios) and stone formations (Petra tou Romiou), behind which there are many mythologies, stories and traditions. The tangible cultural heritage consists of stone bridges, archaeological monuments, the Venetian walls of the Old Town of Nicosia, castles, old portas, ancient temples and churches. Cyprus’ intangible cultural heritage varies in music, traditional dances, flims, food, carnivals, shadow theatre, traditional wedding customs, etc.
The Turkish invasion of 1974 had an impact on Cypriot cultural heritage. The destruction of monuments during the invasion and then their use as farms and ammunition storage can be considered as a destruction of tangible cultural heritage. In addition, many artworks and pictures were stolen and transferred to Europe. The invasion also disrupted the natural continuity of the lives, customs and relations of the people living in the areas that were invaded, as they had to flee and leave everything behind.
Organizing events in the public spaces of the cities is something new for Cyprus and people are not yet used to the idea and there is not always easy access for people with difficulties in movement. However, the Municipalities usually encourage events in public spaces open to the public; some of them they even sponsor or organize events on their own. In order to organize an event in a public space in Cyprus, there is a procedure through the local municipality, which is normally supportive and it is possible to get permission. In addition, in case of closing the roads a permission in needs by Local Police Department which supports, as well, with traffic bypass.