MoNa: Monuments in Nature: A Creative Co-existence (2019-2022)

The European Center for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments coordinates as a leading body the project: Mo.Na: Monuments in Nature: A Creative Co-existence, which aims at the coexistence of environmental and cultural heritage, and the development of strategies for the common treatment of cultural monument and the natural environment in which it is part. The main parameter of the project are the areas of high cultural value (UNESCO protected areas) located in areas of particular environmental importance (Natura 2000, Ramsar sites, etc.).

The Mo.Na project was co-financed by the Interreg V-Balkan-Mediterranean 2014-2020 program and national resources, and is a transnational partnership project of 4 countries (Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria). Through the Mo.Na project, 4 case studies are approached, the Caldera of Santorini (Greece), Mesimvria (Bulgaria), the Paphos forest (Cyprus) and Vouthroto (Albania), areas that are a field of action for the holistic management of a monument- environment. In addition, the main and innovative goal of the project is to create a certification system for the promotion and protection of the natural and cultural environment.

The Mo.Na project was implemented with the cooperation of public bodies for the management of cultural heritage and the environment from the four countries, as well as with the participation of local authorities. Specifically, the European Center for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments (E.K.B.M.M.) (Leading Body P1), the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades (P2), the Municipality of Thira (P3), the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (EL.E. ), the Municipality of Mesimvria in Bulgaria (P5), the Society for Cypriot Studies (P6), the Department of Forests of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment in Cyprus (P7) and the National Institute of Cultural Heritage in Albania (P8). Also, the project was implemented with the support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (P9) and the participation of the Association of Greek Urban Planners (SEPOH) (P10).

The following actions took place in the framework of the Mo.Na project:

  • Management of the cultural and natural heritage of the Caldera. Mapping, recording and restoration activities at the Castle, at the castle of Thirasia, at the site of the Mavromatis mines. Promotion and protection of the cultural paths of the Caldera of Santorini.
  • Restoration of the old road network in the Old Town of Mesimvria, in order to make it more environmentally friendly and to people.
  • Restoration of an old 11 km long forest path in the Paphos Forest and other activities related to the environment and culture in Cyprus, such as the restoration of an old watermill and the photo exhibition “Nature in the art and ritual of Cyprus”.
  • Holistic approach to the management of the archeological site in Vouthroto, Albania: Study of the effects of soil drainage on the monuments, study of the presence of groundwater for each sub-area and study of the chemical composition of the water. Small-scale restoration works in Nymphaeum and at the gate of a fort.
  • Mapping and recording of marine flora and fauna in Santorini, Mesimvria and Vouthroto by EL.KE.TH.E.
  • Digital interactive storytelling for young people with the aim of raising their awareness of the environmental and cultural heritage.
  • Special edition which records the history, cultural and environmental heritage, the proposed routes and the actions that took place in the four pilot areas of the project.
  • International Hybrid Conference entitled “Mo.Na: Monuments in Nature. A Creative Co-existence ”in Athens.
  • Co-organized Forum in Istanbul entitled “Ecumenical Initiative for the Protection of the Environment and Culture” by the EKBMM and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  • Creation of the certification system “Mo.Na Standard, Label for the promotion and protection of the natural and cultural environment” of the cultural and natural characteristics of an area, with the aim of developing a specialized tourism

The website of the project: