Queen's University Belfast - Designs aim to bridge divide

February 5, 2009

Postgraduate students in planning, architecture and civil engineering are designing "gluing schemes" to help unite Nicosia, the Cypriot capital and the last divided city in Europe. The 12 students from Queen's University Belfast are among only a handful of people, mostly diplomats, who have had access to the buffer zone between the island's Turkish-Cypriot north and Greek-Cypriot south. Their design schemes will be displayed in Cyprus in May, and include a theatre of memory, a national library and a Cypriot academy of fine arts. Senior lecturer Karim Hadjri said: "Nicosia was selected by us for its ongoing physical division and similarities with Belfast. We felt our students, due to their experience of division in Northern Ireland, would relate to the local issues and could offer bicommunal and integrated solutions through architecture."

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