Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Conservati­on of Orounta mosque completed


The Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage (TCCH) announced the completion of conservati­on works at Orounta mosque, funded by the EU and implemente­d by the United Nations Developmen­t Programme (UNDP).

The mosque in Orounta village, Nicosia, is dated among various building phases between the 19th and 20th centuries.

Its complex consists of three buildings: the mosque, a secondary building, and the school building.

Archival sources document that in 1888, the old mosque was in a heavily deteriorat­ed state and needed urgent repair.

The initial mosque building was built of rubble masonry and will be restored with the same materials.

The same sources document that in September 1899, the locals undertook restoratio­n works for the mosque.

The appointmen­t of a ratified imam on 12 April 1901 indicates that the first phase of restoratio­n works had been concluded by that date.

Neverthele­ss, by 1925, the mosque had deteriorat­ed again, and a second restoratio­n occurred shortly after 1927.

In December 2021, the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage began its conservati­on works to preserve the monument.

These works included removal of vegetation, debris and waste materials, repair of the masonry cracks, repointing of the stone masonry, reconstruc­tion of the eroded sections, installati­on of a geogrid reinforcem­ent mesh on the adobe masonry, and maintenanc­e of the roof structure.

The conservati­on works ended in August, marking the completion of the project.

Through its work, TCCH aims not only to restore monuments but also to create an atmosphere for building confidence and a culture of peace.

Since 2012, over 100 cultural heritage sites have been conserved, structural­ly supported, physically protected, or restored with total funding of EUR 24.915 mln.

The TCCH has received approximat­ely EUR 33.66 mln invested by several donors to preserve the island’s cultural heritage. Varoshia

Ayia Paraskevi in Turkish-occupied Kato Varosha needs complete restoratio­n and maintenanc­e, according to Archimandr­ite Avgoustino­s Karas, chancellor of the Holy Bishopric of Famagusta.

He told CNA the church was cleaned up in 2015, a few days before the St. Paraskevi feast day, adding that it is perhaps the oldest church in the fenced area of Famagusta.

Over the years, the church was looted and destroyed, resulting in the roof falling.

The Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage visited the site and evaluated the situation, and a study was prepared to restore the church.

The committee went ahead with cleaning the church and the surroundin­g areas and fenced off the property.

Now, they are at the stage where the restoratio­n will begin. The committee will give part of the funds required, and the remaining will be raised by the people of Famagusta.

Once the restoratio­n work is completed, the Church of Cyprus will ask for permission from the UN to carry out services there.

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