The abandoned Old Nicosia International Airport in the United Nations buffer zone in Cyprus is a space stuck in the past from which both Greek and Turkish Cypriots are barred. As UN guests we were driven in a white UN jeep along the runway towards the terminal hall. Our passing gaze caught the bombed airplane on flat tires on the side of the runway, before we could see the once so modern check in area with its waiting lounge chairs, the shattered glass and faded signs all carpeted with bird droppings abandoned in the debris of the Turkish invasion of 1974. We felt we entered a dead zone within which the Cyprus conflict has been emplaced and frozen. This place, we understand, has unintentionally become a contested heritage site. We find ourselves in this location, which is outside the purview of contemporary daily life of the Cypriots, yet it provides the structure on which the communities construct discourses of the past and of modernity. Leaving the site, we reflect how the legacy of the conflict is still shaping narratives about identity, otherness, remembering and forgetting, affecting the stumbling steps towards reconciliation and peace on this divided island.