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Parliamentary questions
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29 October 2014
Question for written answer E-008509-14
to the Commission
Rule 130
Emmanouil Glezos (GUE/NGL) , Neoklis Sylikiotis (GUE/NGL) , Takis Hadjigeorgiou (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Protection of the cultural heritage in occupied Cyprus
 Answer in writing 

In the partly-occupied island of Cyprus in the south-eastern corner of the European Union, two churches of great historical and architectural significance, Aghios Iakovos O Persis (15th-16th century) and Aghios Giorgios (17th century), which are located in Nicosia’s buffer zone, are in danger of collapse. Nicosia Master Plan’s bi-communal technical group, which was set up under the auspices of the United Nations and comprised five Greek Cypriot and six Turkish Cypriot architects and engineers, had already sounded the alarm back in 2001. At that time, the occupation authorities had prohibited the scientific team from entering the Church of Aghios Iakovos and its members had had to content themselves with photographing the surrounding area.

Forty years after the occupation by Turkish troops of the northern part of Cyprus, the destruction of the cultural heritage of the island is appalling. However, in 2004, Cyprus as a whole acceded to the European Union.

In view of the above, will the Commission say:
1. What will it do to stop the on-going destruction of cultural monuments in the occupied part of Cyprus?
2. How will it intervene to save the two churches located in the buffer zone which are in danger of collapse?
Original language of question: EL 
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