- Cyprus: Giorgos Demosthenous
Article by Giorgos Demosthenous, Minister of Education and Culture:
Cultural heritage can be items of a historical nature or items of present day creation. From all items in Europeana I choose to present this video that combines both elements by showing the process of the digital imprint of this remarkable monument, the church of Panagia Phorbiotissa, better known as Panagia of Asinou which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
Panagia Forbiotissa used to be the katholicon (monastery church) of the Monastery of Forbion, as its name implies.
According to the dedicatory inscription above its south entrance, which is dated to 1105/6, the church was built with the donation of Magistros Nikephoros Ischyrios, who subsequently became a monk with the name Nikolaos. The monastery was founded in 1099 and it functioned until the end of the 18th century, when it was abandoned.
The church consists of two parts: the vaulted single-aisled nave and the narthex, which is a later addition belonging to the second half of the 12th century. The narthex with its two semi-circular apses belongs to a type directly influenced by Constantinople. Already from the 12th century a steep-pitched timber roof, covered with flat tiles, sheltered the church.
Today no traces of the rest of the monastic buildings survive. I am particularly grateful for all the efforts of the Europeana Network which gives us the opportunity to make such projects available to all Europeans and hence contribute to a common European cultural heritage.