CYPRUS - NicosiaConservation
ARMENIAN CHURCH AND MONASTERY IN NICOSIA
Despite several imperfect interventions over the years and its desperate condition at the onset of the project, the Church contained significant architectural and decorative elements from the original 14th century construction, including frescoes, carved bosses and capitals, tracery and metal elements belonging to the stained-glass—some of which were only discovered during the restoration. Using traditional materials and techniques and appropriate landscaping methods, the ancillary buildings and courtyard area have also been rebuilt and refurbished for appropriate use.
The project was begun in 2007 as part of a larger peace-building effort in Cyprus. It was designed both to restore one of the most noteworthy parts of the island’s cultural heritage and to provide Armenian, Greek and Turkish Cypriots with the opportunity to work together with international experts to preserve their common heritage.
Jury saw this project as a definite success story, partly of conservation, with high quality research and meticulous conservation techniques, but also as an exercise in the even more challenging process of rebuilding a community. The architectural element is wonderful and precious, but so is the need to restore and develop the social cohesion of the community in the city.