This article examines the dominant heritage discourse in Cyprus concerning preservation and destruction, and its implications for ethno-cultural identity construction and promotion. By exploring two heritage sites (one north and one south of the Buffer Zone) it suggests that heritage practice is more complex than commonly presented. Specifically, it shows how ethnic conflict has not only been responsible for heritage destruction but also for the preservation of it as an unintended consequence of 'freezing' development. It also examines how ethnic groups and individuals may come to evaluate their 'own' heritage negatively, specifically as an inconvenient cultural load, in efforts to develop ideologically specific or socially 'progressive' identities.
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