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18 June, 2024
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Nicosia walls literally coming down

Critics cry foul over warnings following the partial collapse of a medieval wall in north Nicosia


A conservation group has slammed authorities in the north over the partial collapse of the Guerini Bastion, saying it had warned about the conditions of the Nicosia medieval walls but nobody took them seriously.

Last week, a large chunk of the Venetian wall collapsed in North Nicosia, prompting comments from both representatives of the bicommunal Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage.

The collapse took place near the building that houses the Turkish Cypriot leader’s office, with the Cekova conservation group issuing a statement saying they had warned authorities back in December 2016 over a pending collapse.

Earlier this year, two more incidents took place including within the buffer zone, with a Nicosia municipality press officer in the south pointing fingers at the UN

“The Nicosia walls are coming down but sadly our warnings were not heeded,” the group said.

Turkish Cypriot member Ali Tuncay wrote on Facebook saying UNDP staff and members of the technical committee inspected the area upon hearing about the collapse in the press and on social media. He added that studies and a plan would be put forth by experts to repair the wall.

The committee’s Greek Cypriot member, Takis Hadjidemetriou, also spoke on the issue, telling Cyprus News Agency that a contractor would be hired to carry out the repairs and restoration work.

But this would not happen until autumn, according to Hadjidemetriou, who also posted about the issue on Facebook calling the collapse “a far more serious destruction than the previous one.”

Two more collapses earlier this year

Earlier this year, two more incidents took place including within the buffer zone, with Nicosia municipality press officer Chrysanthos Fakas in the south pointing fingers at the United Nations.

“We plea with the UNDP and the Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage to get involved immediately because this is a matter of time and weather conditions,” said Fakas.

Fakas, who said wild vegetation and severe weather were causing landslides in the area, had also warned of a third collapse in the near future. The first two incidents took place near Ledra Palace within the buffer zone and Arab Ahmet borough in north Nicosia.

The cost for restoration is estimated to reach €100,000 while it is unclear when repair works might start.

Cyprus  |  Nicosia  |  Venetian walls  |  collapse  |  UNDP  |  restoration  |  Tuncay  |  Hadjidemetriou  |  Fakas  |  buffer zone

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