22.03.2010 – Press Release – The Restoration Works at the Monastery of Saint Herakleidios

On the occasion of the recent election of the new Board of the Association of Cypriot Archaeologists, the Board expresses its deep disappointment for the projects started with the permission of the Director of the Department of Antiquities, at the katholikon of the Monastery of Saint Herakleidios.

Despite the vehement opposition of the entire scientific community of Cyprus and despite the protests of the scientific staff of the Department of Antiquities, the planned interventions have began and in the process they significantly and irreversibly alter the character of the Monument.

Lest not forget the current managers of monuments that they are but temporary managers and their primary task is the preservation of monuments and their delivery to future generations in their internationally recognizable form.

The need for expansion and services offering will always exist, but it is necessary to seek for modes of implementation of such changes that will not burden the monuments. This of course implies the opening of discussion in part of the managers, so as to implement a preservation policy that is both coherent, sustainable and transparent. The monuments have the ability through their authenticity, uniqueness and historic value to attract many more visitors than through the offer of luxuries and comforts. This tendency to enforce drastic alterations to monuments begs the question: What happens if at some point in time the expansion of the katholikon is again deemed to be insuficient? Will there be additional expansions or will the monument have undergone such irreversible and incompatible with its character interventions that it will not even serve the purpose for which it was created? Furthermore how will the managers combat similar attempts of interventions to other monuments and sites, where similar needs are in effect, and how will we be able to convince the international arena that we are capable of protecting and safeguarding the authenticity of our monuments according to internationally accepted principles in a semi-occupied country?