News Local Cyprus will host high-level meeting on cultural heritage protection, FM says

Cyprus will host high-level meeting on cultural heritage protection, FM says

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides has announced that Cyprus intends to host in the near future a high-level meeting on the protection of cultural heritage.

Together with his Italian counterpart Enzo Moavero Milanesi, Christodoulides co-chaired a meeting of the Friends for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Group, at UN headquarters, in New York.

“We intend to host in Cyprus in the near future, a high-level meeting of all interested parties for the discussion and review of actions in this area,” he said.

Thanking all participants, Christodoulides said that the goal would be for the Group to serve as a platform to rekindle international interest and to raise awareness about the need to protect cultural heritage on an international level while also acting as an informal cooperation and exchange of ideas forum.

The destruction, looting and theft of precious relics has consequences beyond the violation of fundamental human rights and cultural rights that go beyond borders.

Italy and Cyprus alike are privileged to host a remarkable and priceless cultural heritage which dates thousands of years, the Cypriot Foreign Minister said, adding that Cyprus has “a long and painful history as regards the intentional destruction of its cultural heritage.”.

This destruction, he pointed out, took place even before Cyprus became an independent state as well as during the Turkish occupation of its northern part.

“Cyprus actively promotes on all international fora, but also on a bilateral level, the adoption of measures against the destruction and the illegal trafficking of cultural heritage objects,” he said.

Apart from the bilateral Memoranda of Understanding that the country has signed, Cyprus has also worked for the unanimous adoption of a resolution on the cultural rights and the protection of cultural heritage from the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations, Christodoulides added.

Another instance of which we are proud, he noted, was the adoption in 2017 of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Crimes related to Cultural Heritage, known as the “Nicosia Convention”, urging all member states to become signatories.

The uncontrolled situation in the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus after the Turkish invasion in 1974 has fostered the development of a network of dealers in illicit antiquities whose aim was to sell out the cultural heritage of Cyprus. With the encouragement and help of the Turkish army, the trade in illicit antiquities has brought great profit to those involved, and Cypriot treasures already adorn private collections in a number of countries including Turkey, Russia, Switzerland, Holland and the UK, and even as far as the US, Australia and Japan.

More than 500 churches situated in the areas under Turkish occupation since 1974 have been destroyed, plundered and looted or turned into stables, warehouses, restaurants and hotels. The Cyprus government and the church have repeatedly protested to the UN, the World Council of Churches and many other international and religious organisations.

(Cyprus News Agency)

Top Stories

Pandemic at highly critical phase in Cyprus, new appeal launched-12 cases today

  Twelve new cases of covid-19 were announced today out of three thousand 147 tests, taking confirmed infections to 1,755. The break down of new patients...

Animal abuse legislation to get tougher, with a 10 thousand fine for a first offence

  MPs are working through a tougher bill against animal abusers, including raising fines as a deterrent, just a couple of weeks following a horrendous...

No spectators at tomorrow’s Independence Day Parade

  Tomorrow's Independence Day military parade will be held without spectators due to Covid pandemic restrictions, with just officials and foreign dignitaries attending. The parade, on...

Spain in solidarity with Cyprus over Turkish violations

  Spain expressed its solidarity with Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean, with foreign minister Arantha Gonzales Layia noting her country's opposition to any unilateral action,...

Services not covered by GeSY and offered under it to incur fines

The Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) reminds all health care providers as well as General Healthcare System (GeSY) beneficiaries that the system does not cover...



Sheftalies, a very tasty dish from the charcoal grill, are minced meat shaped into small sausages and wrapped in “panna” (suet). Panna is a...

Spicy grilled soutzoukakia

Place all ingredients for soutzoukakia in a bowl and mix well, preferably using a food processor, until well combined. Using the mixture, form cigar-shaped...


Pork souvlaki: Put the meat and all the other ingredients in a bowl (not metal) and mix well. Cover the bowl and keep in...

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...