At the eve of the twentieth century, Cyprus's British administration perceived the island's medieval structures from a utilitarian point of view; their premises were put to new uses, their stones were removed and reused in new constructions. A mere six years later, selected medieval structures were declared monuments under the then-enacted 1905 Antiquities Law. This article investigates this radical shift and seeks to establish the seminal role of an anonymous letter sent to the Times in December 1899. It argues that these 300 words against the alleged demolition of Famagusta's medieval walls by the British Colonial Office initiated the first steps toward the preservation of medieval structures not only within the town but across the island. Ultimately it seeks to establish that the actions of this six-year period, a response to the letter's allegations, marked the beginning of a process that shaped Cyprus's medieval monuments as we appreciate them today.

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