The European Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched on Tuesday the Cyprus Digital Heritage website (www.cyprusdigitalheritage.com). Funded by the EU through the Aid Programme, the new website aims to safeguard and showcase Cyprus’ cultural treasures, ensuring their longevity and making them accessible to all people of Cyprus, as well as to a global audience, a UNDP press release said. The website includes virtual tours featuring cultural heritage sites restored and conserved by the bicommunal Technical Committee of Cultural Heritage (TCCH). These sites hold significant cultural and historical value for Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, representing a bridge between their shared past and a foundation for building a common future. “Visitors can embark on a virtual journey through the magnificent historical landmarks of Cyprus, experiencing their grandeur and significance from the comfort of their own homes. Through these immersive virtual tours, users can explore monuments and archaeological wonders, gaining a deep appreciation for the historical and cultural legacy of Cyprus,” the press release said. The Cyprus Digital Heritage website also provides a user-friendly interface that allows visitors to navigate through a vast array of curated content. The platform features interactive maps, 3D reconstructions, and other multimedia elements, enhancing the virtual tour experience and enriching the exploration of Cyprus’s cultural treasures. Furthermore, the Cyprus Digital Heritage website serves as an invaluable resource for education, researchers, and cultural enthusiasts. Kjartan Björnsson, Deputy Director and Head of Unit for Cyprus Settlement Support at the Directorate-General Reform of the European Commission, highlighted the support of the European Commission in protecting and safeguarding the diversity of cultural heritage of Cyprus and in raising the public awareness of the role that heritage plays in peacebuilding. Speaking about the launch of the web site, Björnsson said that “the Cyprus Digital Heritage website presents an opportunity to stimulate dialogue, foster understanding and connect the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, thereby hopefully paving the way for the reunification of Cyprus.” Jakhongir Khaydarov, UNDP Cyprus Head of Office, expressed his appreciation for the project’s bi-communal nature and its potential for confidence-building, stating, “the launch of the Cyprus Digital Heritage website, featuring TCCH sites, represents a remarkable collaboration between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.’ He said by promoting dialogue, understanding, and pride in the shared heritage, ‘this initiative contributes to building trust and fostering a sense of unity among Cypriots.” The website is in line with the European Commission’s recommendations on digitalisation of cultural heritage, contributing to the objectives of Europe’s Digital Decade, and with UNDP’s commitment to sustainable development and cultural preservation. According to the press release, since 2012, over 123 cultural heritage sites island-wide have been conserved, structurally supported, physically protected or restored by TCCH and UNDP with the financial support from the European Union amounting to almost pound 25 million. Overall, the TCCH has received pound 35.6 million from several donors to implement its priorities for the preservation of the island-wide cultural heritage of Cyprus.
Source: Cyprus News Agency