MEP Cecilia Vikström said that Europe needs to "take action to protect the cultural heritage of Cyprus in the northern part of the island."
Speaking at an event in the parliament dedicated to the European Year of Cultural Heritage, which included a photo exhibition titled "Cyprus: European culture in danger," Vikstrom noted that "the destruction of cultural heritage in Cyprus is an extremely serious and important issue." According to her, hundreds of churches and monasteries are "defiled and destroyed" during the last 40 years.
Vikstrom stressed that the protection of the cultural heritage of Cyprus is a paramount issue not only for the inhabitants of Cyprus, but for the entire European community.
Chairman of the Parliament Dimitris Siluris said that the photo exhibition demonstrated the extent of the destruction of the Cypriot cultural heritage in the north. In his opinion, the EU should strive to protect the cultural heritage of Cyprus, which is also an important element of the whole history of Europe. Unfortunately, Siluris concluded, because of the conflict and illegal trade in antiquities, a large cultural layer is threatened with destruction or has already disappeared from the island's face.