The aftermath of the Cyprus dispute saw the creation of the Nicosia buffer zone in 1974. This area cuts through the historic centre and has disrupted the city’s cohesion for almost 40 years. Decades of abandonment have undermined the high architectural value of the buildings, among which are medieval and neoclassical monuments, and had a devastating impact on the quality of the environment and living conditions of the entire city centre. Once the focal point of crafts and trade, the heart of historic Nicosia is today a lifeless 1.5 km corridor.
Since the 1980, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities of Nicosia have worked together, with the support of the United Nations, to produce a Master Plan for the revitalisation of the buffer zone. International assistance is today needed to start its implementation by restoring, one by one, the historic buildings located in the Nicosia buffer zone.
This important Master Plan, which is a brilliant example of cultural heritage acting as a catalyst for peace and reconciliation, received a Grand Prix in category research as part of the 2011 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards programme.