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By Wilma George, Yapp. W. B.

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The enterprise of heritage, in other words, is very much a political process in which certain places (for example, classical temples) are incorporated into the prescribed, nationalistic point of view, whilst others (for example, Moslem cemeteries) are denied or ignored because they are seen as a threat to nationalistic images. If we wish to consider how grandiose imperial schemes became unstable, or even unethical, trajectories of power extending across time and space, it is essential to attend to the local, for there one can see how the past actively and influentially inheres in space (Jacobs 1996:35, 158).

By contrast, Moslems in general and Turkish Moslems in particular had been the dominant administrative unit (millet) of the Ottoman Empire and thus had little reason to develop nationalistic movements. As a consequence of their membership in the ruling class, the Turks in Cyprus developed few nationalistic sentiments. Moreover, because they were a minority, the Turks had no qualms about identifying with the colonial organisation established by the British administration, nor about giving their support to the new colonial power.

That is precisely why the Cyprus case and the rescue of its cultural property is not simply a case of limited significance or the defiance of international agreements (Tenekides 1994). In such situations do we judge the credibility and the effectiveness of international organisations such as UNESCO, which have undertaken the responsibility to set in motion the indispensable mechanisms of safeguarding cultural property, wherever it may be found. ’ To what extent do such sociopolitical agendas impact on the practice of Cypriot archaeology and the interpretation of archaeological data?

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