Photograph of Varosha’s modernist tourist and leisure landscape, circa 1970 © Press and Information Office (PIO), Republic of Cyprus (Left: Collection Jack Iacovides)
Update: Sign the petition! – Protect Modern Varosha
Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus

Docomomo International would like to share the updates regarding the interventions in the Varosha area. Docomomo Cyprus and Docomomo International are strongly fighting to raise awareness of its importance as modern heritage and its current threats.

“Varosha is a region at the southernmost edge of the city of Famagusta, with a beachfront filled with
modernist hotels, resorts, and apartment buildings, which during the late 1960s, had established it as an
international hub of tourism. Meanwhile, a significant number of other public buildings, housing and,
even private villas increasingly advanced modernism into everyday life and transformed Varosha from
the small town it had been during British colonialism, into a cosmopolitan center of the eastern Mediterranean. While Varosha was becoming a transnational emblem of postcolonial aspirations for socioeconomic development, it also encapsulated several social and environmental dilemmas that accompanied the rapid processes of the beachfront’s unplanned growth, which unfolded against the
background of the intense ethnic inter-communal conflict between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot population and the Cold War geopolitics of the eastern Mediterranean. Encompassing optimistic and contested experiences of modernity, Varosha became a place of transnational significance, with tangible and intangible modern heritage, that is facing a combination of threats.”
Text excerpt: Petros Phokaides, Panayiota Pyla

As Docomomo Cyprus shared with Docomomo International, “the interventions in the Varosha area have progressed. Roads have been paved to allow cyclists and pedestrians access the area and the beach. The ruined buildings have not been altered so far but some are collapsing as a result of abandonment especially along the coast. (See image below) Protection of civilians could be soon used as an excuse to expand the cleaning operation to the buildings. The future of Varosha’s modern heritage which was so far protected by its status as an enclosed military zone seems rather bleak.”

A former hotel on Varosha beach has partly collapsed.

Docomomo International firmly appeals to sign the updated petition to save Modern Varosha: here.

Please read the English and Turkish versions of longer texts on Varosha:
VAROSHA_Under Threat [English]
VAROSHA_Under Threat_TR [Turkish]

To learn more about this case, please see the previous Docomomo International news here.