News Local Fire safety the biggest challenge for archaeological sites -Antiquities Dept

Fire safety the biggest challenge for archaeological sites -Antiquities Dept

The Antiquities Department is in a race against time to minimize fire hazards in archeological sites ahead of a busy summer season that sees many tourists visiting Cyprus’ ancient treasures.

Speaking to CNA, a day after the devastating blast at the iconic Parisian cathedral of Notre Dame, the Director of the Department of Antiquities Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou notes that the biggest challenge in Cyprus’ archaeological sites is fire safety, due to dense vegetation caused by heavy rains on the island.

“We do what we can in order to avoid any ugly incidents, mainly with regard to fire hazards” intensified by Cyprus’ high temperatures during the summer months, says Solomidou-Ieronymidou.

She recalls a blast near the neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia, in the summer of 2013, with the archaeological site eventually skipping danger. A plan to manage risks and improve authorities’ preparedness in dealing with potential dangers was drafted only after the incident, she says.

Asked about overall preparedness, the Antiquities Department Director says “we are ready to the degree possible.” “You see what happened with the blast in Notre Dame. I can’t believe that services were not prepared to deal with such an incident. It happened nevertheless” she added.

Following a particularly rainy winter season, Cyprus’s archeological sites prepare to welcome tourists, and the Antiquities Department is in a race against time to remove the vegetation from as many areas as possible. Solomidou-Ieronymidou says that priority was given to most visited archeological sites, including the Paphos Mosaics, Tombs of the Kings and Kourion.

Other sites are expected to follow soon, the Director notes however the various restrictions due to her understaffed Department. “We need more people to act more swiftly. We try to do what we can with the means available to us” she says. “A lot is being done but there is still more to do” she concludes.

“A lesson for all”

Takis Hadjidemetriou, the Greek Cypriot Head of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, expresses grief over the destruction of Notre Dame and refers to the global mobilization to secure funds for the reconstruction of the burnt-out cathedral.

Hadjidemetriou, who co-heads a bicommunal team active in restoring cultural heritage monuments in divided Cyprus, tells CNA that rebuilding monuments should be a national priority mobilizing everybody.

It is a shame to lose monuments due to lack of funds, he says, adding that the mobilization to raise money for the reconstruction of Notre Dame highlights people’s struggle to save monuments from extinction.

The difference with Notre Dame is that in Cyprus, monuments are left to deteriorate because of the conflict, he concludes.

(Cyprus News Agency)

Top Stories

‘Sailors do not need to die,’ warns captain of coronavirus-hit U.S. aircraft carrier

The captain of the U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, in a blunt letter, has called on Navy leadership for stronger measures to save the...

Seven fined €150 to €450 for breaking Covid-19 decree

Famagusta district court on Tuesday handed down fines of between €150 and €450 to seven individuals for violating decrees to contain the spread of...

CBC calls for swift credit to “avoid credit crunch” due to Covid-19

The Central Bank of Cyprus in a circular issued on Tuesday called on Cypriot banks to provide swift credit to companies, self-employed persons and...

First batch of China-donated supplies arrives in Cyprus

Ambassador of China to Cyprus Huang Xingyuan has announced the arrival of the first batch of China-donated medical supplies to Cyprus. Huang Xingyuan said in...

Cyprus embassy in Madrid in contact with 30 Cypriots living in Spain

The Embassy of Cyprus in Madrid is in contact with around 30 Cypriots in Spain, mainly students as well as their families in Cyprus,...

Taste

Village olive pie

Mix the yeast with the lukewarm water and put it aside for about 12-15 minutes to settle.  Sift the flour with the salt into...

Skordalia (Garlic paste)

Rinse the potatoes and place, unpeeled, in a saucepan. Cover with water, add salt and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until soft. Drain,...

Village salad

A must-have with every meal is a village salad. You will find it in every tavern or greek restaurant you visit in Cyprus. Make...

Courgettes with eggs

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the courgettes at a medium heat until they soften. Add salt and add the eggs....