ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF THE PAFOS DISTRICT
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that the Archaeological Museum of the Pafos District will be closed to the public from the 24th October 2016 until November 2017, due to construction works and works related to the re-exhibition of the Museum’s collection. The Department of Antiquities apologises in advance for any inconvenience caused.
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that on Saturday October 8, 2016 the Cyprus Museum will close at 13.00 due to the Cyprus Rally 2016.
PUBLIC LECTURE TITLED
“STUDY FOR THE LIGHTING OF FOUR MEDIEVAL CASTLES IN CYPRUS”
The Department of Antiquities announces that on the occasion of the completion of the study on the lighting of the castles of Kato Pafos, Lemesos, Larnaka and Kolossi, a public lecture is organized, to be delivered by Dr Yiannis Eliades, contractor of the project and specialist on the study and application of lighting on monuments and museums, on behalf of “EON”, an Athens-based company. The lecture will take place on Monday, 3rd of October 2016, between 10:00 – 12:00 a.m. in the Medieval Hall of Kasteliotissa, within the old city and close to the Pafos Gate.
The study is part of the efforts of the Department of Antiquities to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Cyprus, and is funded by the European Commission, through the Structural Reform Support Service for Cyprus. The objective is to create, through lighting, the conditions required for the promotion of the exterior and interior surfaces of the castles, in a way that respects and highlights the unique features and authenticity of the monuments. The lecture is open to the public.
Saving Prehistoric Antiquities Under Threat
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces a two-day series of events on the 23-24 September 2016, organized within the framework of the research program Saving Prehistoric Antiquities Under Threat.
On the 23rd September 2016 at the Ethnological Museum (The Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios Mansion, Lefkosia) at 18:30 a lecture titled “Insights into the new challenges in protecting cultural property” will be delivered by Professor Jean-Robert Gisler (University of Fribourg and Berne, Switzerland). At 19:30, at the same location, the periodical exhibition “Archaeology and Memory: Excavations in the Districts of Keryneia and Ammochostos” will be inaugurated. The exhibition will be presenting for the first time to the public, antiquities that were excavated before 1974 at prehistoric sites in the areas that are currently not under the effective control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus. The ‘return’ to the archaeology of inaccessible areas, such as those of Keryneia and Ammochostos (Famagusta) aims to highlight their cultural and historical particularities and to underline the fact that the archaeological research that has developed in Cyprus over the last four decades remains incomplete, since it is only based on research conducted in the areas under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
Within the same framework, on 24th September 2016, from 08:45 – 18:30, at the Medieval Hall Kastelliotissa in Lefkosia, the Department of Antiquities is organising a workshop titled “Four Decades of Hiatus in Archaeological Research in Cyprus: Towards Restoring the Balance”. The workshop will be in English and it is dedicated to the memory of the late Professor Edgar Peltenburg. The research programme Saving Prehistoric Antiquities Under Threat is co-funded by the Republic of Cyprus and the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and is conducted under the aegis of the Department of Antiquities. The duration of the programme is three years and it is expected to be completed by August 2017. The ultimate objective of the research undertaken is the safeguarding through digital recording of the finds stored in the Cyprus Museum, that come from prehistoric sites excavated before 1974 in areas that today are not under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus.
HALA SULTAN MOSQUE: NOT ACCESSIBLE TO VISITORS ON 15/9/2016
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that an organised visit of a large number of pilgrims, due to the celebrations of the Kurban Bayram, to the Mosque of Hala Sultan in Larnaka is expected to exceed the maximum capacity of the temenos. As a result the mosque will not be accessible to visitors on Thursday 15 September 2016.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, regrets to announce that Dr Edgar Peltenburg, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, passed away on Sunday August 14th 2016.
Dr Peltenburg was born on the 28th of May 1942. In 1963 he received his B.A. in Ancient History and Archaeology from the University of Birmingham and his PhD in 1968. He held the post of Lecturer at several universities in Canada, England and Scotland until his appointment as Lecturer of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. He remained there until he retired in 2008 having worked as a Professor of Archaeology from 1994 to 2007.
He was the Director of several excavations in Cyprus as well as in England, Scotland, Iraq and Syria. His many years of collaboration with the Department of Antiquities began with his excavations in Agios Epiktitos-Vrysi in Keryneia District from 1969 until 1973. In 1976 the ‘Lemba Archaeological Project’ commenced under his directorship with the excavations at Lempa-Lakkous, Kisonerga-Myloudia and Kisonerga-Mosfilia. From 1991 until 2011, he also carried out excavations at the sites of Souskiou-Vathyrkakas and Souskiou-Laona.
The Department of Antiquities wishes to dedicate in his memory the forthcoming Workshop titled “Four Decades of Hiatus in Archaeological Research in Cyprus: Towards Restoring the Balance”, which is being organized at the Medieval Hall of Kasteliotissa on September 24th 2016, and in which Dr Peltenburg would have presented a paper on the excavations at Agios Epiktitos-Vrysi.
ANNOUNCEMENT – EXTENSION OF THE EXHIBITION
“FALCONS AT KOLOSSI”
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that the exhibition of Lefteris Olympios, titled “Falcons at Kolossi”, which is exhibited in Kolossi Castle since 18th of April 2016, will remain open to the public until the end of September 2016.
REPATRIATION OF ANTIQUITY FROM UK
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that an ancient clay figurine has been repatriated to Cyprus from the United Kingdom. The figurine was identified by the Department of Antiquities on the website of a London-based antiquities dealer’s shop.
Following a request by the Department of Antiquities and the Cyprus Police, the shop handed over the figurine to the London Metropolitan Police, which in turn, returned it to the Department of Antiquities in July 2016. The figurine was part of Mr Christakis Hadjiprodromou’s registered private collection that was kept in his house in Ammochostos (Famagusta) prior to the Turkish invasion in 1974. As a result of the invasion, of the Turkish arms, Mr. Hadjiprodromou’s residence was pillaged, and his collection was looted, its objects scattered around the world.
The clay figurine depicts a horse and rider/warrior and dates to the Cypro-Archaic period (approximately 700 BC).
DONATION OF ANTIQUITY
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, wishes to express its sincere appreciation to Mr. Christakis Hadjiprodromou for his kind donation of a prehistoric clay figurine. The figurine was part of Mr Hadjiprodromou’s declared private collection that was kept in his house in Ammochostos (Famagusta) prior to the Turkish invasion in 1974. As a result of the invasion, Mr. Hadjiprodromou’s residence was pillaged, and his collection was looted, its objects scattered around the world. The specific figurine was repatriated from Munich in August 2015 along with other antiquities that were in the illegal possession of Aydin Dikmen, after a long legal battle.
The figurine dates to the Middle Bronze Age (2000 – 1650 BC) and it represents an infant in a cradle. It is adorned with painted motifs and it belongs to a rare category of figurines.
It will be included in an exhibition organized by the Department of Antiquities to be inaugurated on September 23, 2016, within the framework of a research programme (SPAUT, Saving Prehistoric Antiquities under Threat). After the exhibition the figurine will be on permanent display in the Cyprus Museum.
USE OF THE ANCIENT THEATRE OF KOURION
Due to the recent publicity given to the matter of allegedly granting permission to use the Ancient Theatre of Kourion for wedding celebrations, the Department of Antiquities would like to clarify that permission to use the theatre was granted solely for the purposes of organising a classical repertoire concert.
The permit was granted following the legal procedure prescribed in the Regulations of the Antiquities Law that concern the use of Ancient Monuments of the First Schedule. For the use of these Monuments no exceptions are made and strict conditions of use are imposed, which the organisers of events are obligated to follow
so that the integrity and the archaeological value of the Monuments is not compromised.
MOSAIC PAVEMENT AT LARNACA
Following the publicity given to the discovery of a new mosaic floor in Larnaka town, the Department of Antiquities would like to provide to the media a photograph of part of the mosaic floor and inform you of the following:
The mosaic floor was revealed in Agios Neofytos Street in Larnaka during excavation work for the construction of the city’s sewage system. Archaeological research on the site is still ongoing and only part of the mosaic floor has been revealed.
Even though the mosaic floor has only been partially excavated, and has yet to be conserved, a preliminary estimation would suggest that scenes of the Labours of Hercules are depicted and that it is dated to the Roman period.
Written sources and inscriptions provide information that during the Roman period Ancient Kition played an important role in the establishment of roman culture in Cyprus, however up to this day roman remains found in the city are very few.
Therefore, the mosaic floor that came to light and the building it belongs to, provide important evidence for the development of the city during the Roman period.
INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY! WEDNESDAY, 18 MAY 2016, FREE ENTRY TO THE MUSEUMS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ANTIQUITIES
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that on Wednesday, 18th May 2016, International Museum Day, all Museums of the Department of Antiquities will have free entry. The public can visit the Department of Antiquities’ website, www.mcw.gov.cy/da for a list of all Museums and their opening hours as well as for all events organized within the framework of International Museum Day 2016.
DONATION OF OBJECTS BY MS. KATIE CLERIDES
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, wishes to express its sincere appreciation to Ms. Katie Clerides for her generous donation of ethnographic objects. The donation was made in memory of Ms. Clerides’ parents, the late former President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides and Lila-Irini Clerides. The collection consists of carpets, furniture, silver-ware and lighting fixtures. A large part of the collection is now on display in the Ethnological Museum, (The House of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios), Lefkosia while the remaining objects will be displayed in the Local Ethnological Museum of Traditional Embroidery and Silversmith-work, Lefkara in the near future.
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that in the framework of the celebrations of the 18th of April, established by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) as the International Day for Monuments and Sites, a sports’ event will take place on Sunday 17th of April 2016, at the ancient Stadium of Kourion, between 10:30 – 13:00, in collaboration with the Cyprus Sports Organisation and the Office of the Commissioner for Volunteering and Non-Governmental Organisations. This year’s theme for the International Day for Monuments and Sites is “The Heritage of Sport”, which provides the opportunity to underline the importance of notions, such as culture, sport and volunteerism. The sports that will take place include fencing, archery, wrestling and track activities, with the participation of the respective Associations under the Cyprus Sports Organisation, while a cycling route will also be organized as part of the event. The general public will have the opportunity to participate in the various activities, as well as to acquire information on the event through audiovisual and other material. The organization of this event at the ancient stadium of Kourion highlights the significance not only of the monument, but also of this celebration, through which universal values are being promoted, within the context of preserving and presenting our cultural heritage.
EVENT AT THE ANCIENT STADIUM OF KOURION IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR MONUMENTS AND SITES
STRIKE OF HOURLY PAID PERSONNEL
Τhe Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works announces that on Friday December 18th 2015, the following archaeological sites and Museums will be closed from 11:30-12:00 due to the strike of the hourly paid governmental personnel throughout the island.
• Cyprus Museum
• Ethnological Museum - The House of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios
• Medieval District Museum – Larnaka Castle
• Hala Sultan Tekke
• Amathous – Agios Tychon
• Kolossi Castle
• Kourion – Episkopi
• Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates – Episkopi
• Cyprus Medieval Museum (Limassol Castle)
• Folk Art Museum, Geroskipou
• Local Museum of Marion – Arsinoe, Polis Chrysochous
• Palaipafos (Kouklia)
• Nea Pafos (Mosaics)
• Tombs of the Kings
World Refugee Day commemorations in Cyprus
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that it will participate in the commemorations organized for the World Refugee Day held annually on 20 June. Within the framework of events organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Cyprus the Cyprus Medieval Museum (Limassol Castle) and Larnaca Castle will be illuminated in blue from the 15-20 of June. The Department of Antiquities, recognizing that throughout its history Cyprus was a shelter for refugees in the broader region, stands by the efforts of UNHCR to raise public awareness on refugee issues in order to create a climate of tolerance and respect for the rights of the refugees, including the right to protect and preserve their cultural heritage in their homelands, which is also part of our world heritage.
For further information on the World Refugee Day commemorations in Cyprus please visit the UNHCR webpage http://www.unhcr.org.cy/fileadmin/user_upload/World_Refugee_Day_commemorations_in_Cyprus__EN_.pdf.
Light it Up Blue – Blue Lighting of Monuments and Museums for the
International Autism Awareness Day, 2nd April 2015.
The Department of Antiquities announces that on the 2nd of April 2015, International Autism Awareness Day, it will take part in the Light it Up Blue event. Within this framework, the lighting of the Medieval Castles of Limassol, Kolossi, and Larnaka, the Archaeological Site of Choirokoitia, the Medieval Manor House at Kouklia, as well as the Cyprus Museum, the Archaeological Museums of the Limassol and Larnaka Districts and the Local Archaeological Museum of Marion-Arsinoe at Polis Chrysochous, will turn blue. The Department of Antiquities joins in the efforts to raise public awareness concerning the problems that persons with Autism and their families face, as part of its wider strategy towards protecting and promoting our archaeological heritage for the benefit of the society in its entirety. It is the belief of the Department of Antiquities that culture belongs to all citizens, and that the increase of knowledge on the significance of archaeological values, and their sustainability, contributes directly in the creation of the basis for social development.
PASCAL SCHOOL, LEMESOS, VOLUNTARY SOCIAL WORK
On the 22nd of January 2015, the voluntary social work group of Pascal School, Lemesos, in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities, cleaned up the rubbish from the beach which corresponds with the acropolis of ancient Amathus.
ASSISTANT CONSERVATOR FOR UNDERWATER FINDS FUNDED BY THE HONOR FROST FOUNDATION
Recent advancements by the Department of Antiquities in the field of Underwater Archaeology and Conservation have been enhanced by funding awarded from the Honor Frost Foundation (HFF). The Foundation is supporting the contract employment, for three years, of an Assistant Conservator to focus exclusively in the field of conservation of underwater finds. The position is a timely addition to the Department’s conservation workforce in a field that has been growing gradually in the last few years. This recent funding by the HFF follows a 2013 grant for the part-time one year employment of an Assistant Conservator for Underwater Finds. The discovery of the Mazotos shipwreck in 2007 together with the latest excavations at the Nissia wreck (both of which are being excavated by the University of Cyprus in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities) have generated an array of interesting finds including an iron cannon, waterlogged wood, ceramic amphorae probably used for the transportation of wine, and many more. The objects are being treated in the Department’s Conservation Lab for the Treatment of Underwater Finds in Larnaca.
The Honor Frost Foundation was founded in 2011 after the death of Honor Frost, an early pioneer in the field of underwater archaeology. The Foundation works to promote the advancement and research, of marine and maritime archaeology with particular focus on the Eastern Mediterranean with an emphasis on Lebanon, Syria
and Cyprus. More information about the HFF can be found at www.honorfrostfoundation.org
EXTENDED OPENING HOURS (CYPRUS MUSEUM AND ETHNOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF HADJIGEORGAKIS KORNESIOS)
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, announces the extended opening hours of the Cyprus Museum and the Ethnological Museum of Hadjigeorgakis Kornessios.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 8.00-18.00
The Museum will be open until 20.00 on every first Wednesday of the month.
Ethnological Museum of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 8.30-15.30
The above opening hours apply from Tuesday, October 14, 2014.
EXTENDED OPENING HOURS OF PAFOS DISTRICT MUSEUM
From 11 October 2014 to 28 February 2015 the opening hours of the Pafos District Museum have been adjusted for the purposes of the exhibition “Trauma and Therapy – Cypriot Antiquity and Contemporary Art”.
Monday - Friday 8.00-16.00
EVENT CELEBRATING THE EXPANSION OF THE ACCESSIBILITY PROGRAMME FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSONS AT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES
ANCIENT KOURION, 4TH OCTOBER 2014
The Department of Antiquities, primarily aiming at the promotion of our cultural heritage and the familiarization of all citizens with the archaeological sites and monuments of Cyprus, announces the continuation of the project for guided tours for visually impaired persons at the House of Eustolios and the ancient theatre of Kourion by the Minister of Communication and Works, Mr. Marios Demetriades, on Saturday 4th of October 2014 at 18:00.
The objective of the Department of Antiquities is to provide visually impaired persons full access to the archaeological heritage of Cyprus. Continuing with the archaeological site of Kourion, after the House of Dionysos in Kato Pafos, the opportunity is given to visually impaired persons to get familiar with and understand, in a direct and tangible manner, the archaeological material and related aspects, such as a mosaic and its manufacture technology. Most importantly, this project highlights further the value and great significance embedded in the preservation and promotion of our archaeological heritage.
In collaboration with the School for the Blind “St Barnabas”, bilingual informative panels have been produced in the Braille system for the House of Eustolios and the ancient theatre, while a 3D copy of the theatre enables a direct understanding of its architecture. Moreover, a copy of a mosaic has been created, in an attempt to provide an insight into the technology of its manufacture. The guards of the archaeological site have been trained by special trainers of the School for the Blind, so as to act as guides to visually impaired persons. In addition, guides have been published in Greek and in English in the Braille system and in enlarged font, which will be provided to visually impaired persons by the Department of Antiquities free of charge.
The event will start at 18:00 with a guided tour of the House of Eustolios and the theatre by an Archaeological Officer of the Department of Antiquities. Short addresses by the Minister of Communications and Works and the Acting Directors of the Department of Antiquities and the School for the Blind will follow. The main part of the event comprises of a concert by the “Melodytes” orchestra of the School for the Blind dedicated to Manos Hadjidakis.
ACCESS TO FREE WI-FI AT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF KOURION AND ODEON OF NEA PAFOS (MOSAICS)
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works announces to the public that visitors to the Archaeological site of Kourion (Visitor's Center) and the Odeon at Nea Pafos have access to free internet (wi-fi).
TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATES OF EXCELLENCE 2014
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works is proud to announce that the Cyprus Museum, the Archaeological Site of Kourion and the mosque of Hala Sultan have received the certificate of Excellence for 2014 by the well-known and established travel website TripAdvisor, used by millions of travelers around the world.
The certificate is based entirely on the comments of visitors following their visit to the Cyprus Museum and the archaeological site of Kourion during the previous year. The Department of Antiquities considers this distinction of special importance since it is the result of the experiences of the visitors and their subsequent comments. The award is considered to be an extremely positive promotion since the awarded attractions are advertised through social network sites. At the same time, this certificate demonstrates how the ongoing efforts of the Department of Antiquities to upgrade its museums and monuments, despite the difficult financial circumstances of recent years, are appreciated by the public. Last but not least, this distinction is an opportunity for Cyprus’ rich cultural heritage to be promoted.
WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY, 2 APRIL: CYPRUS MUSEUM AND MONUMENTS LIT UP BLUE
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, announces that it will take part again this year in the activities for the World Autism Awareness Day celebrated every year on the 2nd of April. Along with the blue lit of Pyramids in Egypt, the South Pole, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tour, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil, the History Museum at Missouri and many other monuments and historic buildings all over the World, the Department of Antiquities will light up blue the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia and the following monuments: the Castle of Limassol, the Castle of Larnaca, the Castle of Pafos, the Archaeological Site of Choirokoitia and the Archaeological Site at Palaipafos (Kouklia). This effort is within the framework of the Department of Antiquities’ wider contribution to society and provides and promotes the building of awareness and understanding for persons with disabilities, including persons with autism, as well as the support of their loved ones.
REVISED ENTRY FEES
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works announces that in accordance with the Antiquities (Amendment) Regulations of 2013, the fees for Museums and Ancient Monuments have been revised as from 15/11/2013, as follows:
- Museums and Ancient Monuments with current fee of €3,40 to €4,50.
- Archaeological Site of Kourion with current fee of €1,70 to €4,50.
- All the other Museums and Ancient Monuments with current fee of €1,70 to €2,50.
There is a reduction of 20% for groups of visitors consisting of more than ten persons. The Director of the Department can issue special entry cards for a period of one day for €8,50 for a period of three days for €17,00 and for a period of seven days for €25,00.
CEREMONY IN THE BYZANTINE MUSEUM TO MARK THE REPATRIATION OF 173 CULTURAL TREASURES
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works announces that on Tuesday 12 November 2013, a ceremony will be organized in the Byzantine Museum of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation, Nicosia to mark the repatriation of the 173 ecclesiastical cultural treasures which were stolen from the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. It constitutes the largest number of cultural objects ever repatriated in Cyprus and the repatriation was achieved after a long legal battle in the Regional Court of Munich. The 173 byzantine and post-byzantine antiquities that still bear the signs of irreversible damage caused during the process of their detachment from the churches, come from Greek-Cypriot churches and churches of the Maronite community. They are unique examples of ecclesiastical art of Cyprus and will be temporarily exhibited in the Byzantine Museum until the day of their return to the places where they belong.
NEW GUIDELINES FOR ARTICLES TO BE PUBLISHED IN
REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ANTIQUITIES, CYPRUS (RDAC)
The Editors of the Department of Antiquities have prepared new submission guidelines for articles to be published in the RDAC New Series (as of 2014). This decision aims at improving the scientific standard of the publication through peer-reviewing: the excavation/survey reports will be reviewed by an in-house committee and any other articles (study of objects, architecture etc) by external peer-reviewers. A standard referencing system will be used by all authors that will include footnotes and a list of works cited. Articles submitted for publication must be in either Greek or English only.
With regard to the spelling of geographical names, the Department of Antiquities recognises the importance of the traditional spelling as in the archaeological literature. However, according to a decision by the Ministerial Council (no. 31.075 of 15.12.1988), all government services are required to follow the standardization as indicated in the publication by M.N. Christodoulou and K. Konstantinides, A Complete Gazetteer of Cyprus (Nicosia 1987). For this reason as well as for purposes of continuity, the standardized spelling of geographical names will be used in the article texts. However, in order to eliminate identification problems, a concordance index will be included at the end of the volume that will inform the reader as to the corresponding spelling in the archaeological literature.
For more information or for queries, you may contact Mr Efthymios Shaftacolas (Archaeological Officer of Publications) via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone (+357-22865815 / +357-99639673).
PRESENTATION OF THE PILOT PROJECT
«GUIDED TOURS FOR VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSONS AT THE HOUSE OF DIONYSOS, ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF KATO PAPHOS»,
5 OCTOBER 2013
The Department of Antiquities, aiming at increasing the relationship between all citizens and the archaeological sites and monuments of Cyprus, announces the presentation of the pilot project entitled “Tours for visually impaired persons at the House of Dionysos, Archaeological Site of Kato Paphos” by the Minister of Communication and Works, Mr. T. Mitsopoulos, on Saturday 5th of October 2013 at 17:30.
The objective of the Department of Antiquities is to provide access to all citizens to the archaeological heritage of Cyprus. In particular, it is the first time that an opportunity is given to visually impaired persons to get familiar with and understand, in a direct and tangible manner, the archaeological material and related aspects, such as a mosaic and its manufacture technology. Most importantly, this project highlights further the value and great significance embedded in the preservation and promotion of our archaeological heritage.
In collaboration with the School for the Blind “St Barnabas”, bilingual informative panels have been produced in the Braille writing system and placed at the “House of Dionysos”, while a plan of the same house in relief, enables a direct understanding of the architectural organization. Moreover, a copy of a mosaic has been created with dspaces in relief, in an attempt to provide an insight into the character of the motifs depicted on the surface. Guides have also been published in Greek and in English in the Braille writing system, as part of the efforts to provide accessibility to all available historic and archaeological information relating to the archaeological site of Paphos and the “House of Dionysos”. For the people with reduced sight the guides were published in an enlarged font. These guides will be provided to the persons with visual disability by the Department of Antiquities free of charge. In addition, the guards of the archaeological site have been trained by special trainers of the School for the Blind, so as to act as guides to visually impaired persons, in order to increase the benefits of their visit. It is important to note that this is a pilot project and that it will be soon applied to other monuments and other archaeological sites.
The opening ceremony of the presentation of the pilot project will commence at 17:30 with a guided tour at the House of Dionysos by an Archaeological Officer of the Department of Antiquities. The event will continue at the ancient Odeon and will be addressed by the Minister of Communications and Works Mr. T. Mitsopoulos, the Mayor of Paphos Mr. S. Vergas, the Acting Director of the Department of Antiquities Dr M. Solomidou – Ieronymidou, and the Acting Director of the School for the Blind Mrs Pelagia Egglezaki – Karpasiti. The main part of the event comprises a concert by students of the Programme of the Ministry of Education and Culture for the Development of Musical Talents, under the artistic direction of Professor Mathaios Kariolou.
Finally, a kite aerial photography exhibition of ancient sites and monuments of Cyprus by Mr. Thomas Sagory will be hosted for a week at the Visitors Centre of the Archaeological Site of Kato Paphos. The exhibition, entitled “Cyprus – An aerial perspective”, is co-organized with the French Institute of the French Embassy in Cyprus.
MOSAIKON TRAINING WORKSHOP
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, announces that the second MOSAIKON training workshop in the conservation and management of archaeological sites with mosaics, will be held in Paphos from 28 April until 16 May 2014. The course is organized in collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute and the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus.
More information on the course, as well as the application form due by 30 September 2013, are available on the website
TREE PLANTING AT CHOIROKOITIA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works announces that on Wednesday, 7th August 2013 at 19:00 pm, tree planting will take place at the archaeological site of Choirokoitia in the presence of the Minister of Communications and Works, aiming to the restoration of the landscape at the site following the recent destructive fire.
REVISED OPENING HOURS FOR DISTRICT MUSEUMS
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works announces that the Larnaka, Limassol and Pafos District Museums will remain closed for the public on Saturdays during the period 1st August until 31st of December or until further notice.
REPATRIATION CEREMONY IN MUNICH
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works announces that on Tuesday 16 July 2013 a ceremony was organized to mark the extremely important decision taken by the Regional Court of Munich on the 18th of March, 2013 that follows the decision of the District Court of Munich delivered on September 2010 for the repatriation of cultural treasures, which were stolen from the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
The ceremony involved the symbolic return of 173 objects of ecclesiastical art, which were stolen from churches in the occupied part of Cyprus after the Turkish invasion of 1974 and exported illegally. It took place in the Bavarian Police Department in Munich and was attended and addressed by the Minister of Justice of Bavaria, Beate Merk, the President of the Bavarian Police Department Dr Peter Dathe, the First Criminal Commissioner Dr Franz Weber, the Bishop of Neapolis Porfyrios on behalf of the Church of Cyprus and, Dr. Despo Pilides, Acting Director, on behalf of the Department of Antiquities. A representative of the Embassy of Cyprus in Berilin, as well as other distinguished guests and the Bavarian press were also present. The icon of St Basil from the church of Panagia Galaktoforousa at Palaikythro was presented to the Cypriot representatives, while another five objects were exhibited for symbolic reasons.
Even though restored so as to be able to travel to Cyprus, the signs of violent detachment and bad handling of the objects by the looters were evident. The exhibited objects comprised the wall mosaic fragment of St Thomas from Panagia Kanakaria at Lythrangomi, two fragments of the wall-painting of the Last Judgment from the church of Antifonitis at Kalograia, the icon of Christ from the church of Agios Theodoros, Karpasia, and the icon of Virgin Mary portraying Christ, Agios Ioannis Eleimon, and the portraits of the founders from the church of Agios Ioannis Chrysostomos at Koutsoventis.
This repatriation, which will take place in the near future, concerns the largest in number of cultural goods restitution case that the Republic of Cyprus has ever experienced. Also important was the significance attached to the event by the Bavarian press and mass media.
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, announces that on the 11th January 2013, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis and her counterpart Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Federal Council, Mr Didier Burkhalter signed an Agreement on the Import and Repatriation of Cultural Property in Bern. The Agreement, a result of consultation which began in 2006, concerns Cypriot and Swiss antiquities dated from prehistoric times until 1500 AD.
The Agreement prohibits the import of cultural goods in both states, when the national legislation of the source country has not been followed. At the same time, the Agreement outlines the framework of collaboration of the two countries in issues related to the return of cultural property that has been illegally exported from its country of origin and at the same time it promotes scientific collaboration and cultural exchanges between Cyprus and Switzerland.
The signing of the Agreement, along with the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Cyprus and the USA (July 2012) concerning the imposition of import restrictions on Cypriot archaeological objects, is an extremely important step towards the enhancement of the protection of the cultural heritage of Cyprus and especially towards the prevention of the illegal trade of cultural treasures that are systematically being looted in the island’s occupied areas.
RENEWAL OF MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS AND USA
The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces that on the 10th of July 2012 a ceremonial exchange of diplomatic notes was held between Cyprus and the United States of America signifying the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States of America, concerning the imposition of import Restrictions on archaeological objects including ecclesiastical, ritual and ethnological objects dated up to 1850 A.D, as well as coins dating up to 1500 A.D.
The MoU, which entered into force in 2002, was renewed for an additional five years in 2007 and has now been renewed for a further five-year-period, extending to ritual and ethnological objects dating up to 1850. The import of such objects into the USA is permitted only if the objects are accompanied with an export license issued by the Republic of Cyprus. The MoU’s renewal reflects the strong commitment of the United States to help safeguard Cypriot heritage and offers the opportunity for ongoing cooperation, aiming to reduce the illicit trade of cultural objects. It also strengthens the bilateral relations of the United States of America with Cyprus.
The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces that, as of 16 July 2012, the following Museums will be open to the public on Mondays from 08:00 – 14:30:
- Lemesos (Limasol) District Museum
- Larnaka District Museum
- Pafos District Museum
- Local Museum of Marion-Arsinoe (Polis Chrysochous)
ANNOUNCEMENT: TAMASOS ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces that, as of 1 August 2012, visitors will be able to visit the Archaeological SIte of Tamasos only after telephone appointment, from Monday to Friday between the hours 9.30 - 17.00 (April - AUgust) and 8.30 - 16.00 (September - March).
Visitors are requested to contact Mrs Maria Michaeildou (99218525).
THE REPATRIATION OF THE WALL PAINTINGS
OF THE CHURCH OF AGIOS EUPHEMIANOS, LYSI
The Department of Antiquities expresses great satisfaction for the repatriation of the wall paintings of Agios Euphemianos of Lysi, which arrived in Cyprus on Friday 16th March 2012 and have been placed in the Byzantine Museum of Archbishop Makarios III Foundation in Nicosia.
The wall paintings, dating to the 13th century were once part of the interior decoration of the Church of Agios Euphemianos, also known as Agios Themonianos, in currently occupied Lysi. The Christ Pantocrator, surrounded by a frieze of angels, as well as the Preparation of the Throne attended by the Mother of God and St. John the Baptist is depicted on the dome. In the conch of the apse, the Mother of God is depicted, flanked by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The decorated interior of Agios Euphemianos is considered to be one of the most important works of Cypriot religious art, an integral part of the cultural heritage of Cyprus and the wider Byzantine culture.
The wall paintings have been returned to Cyprus, after having been kept for nearly three decades in the Menil Foundation in Houston, Texas in the USA, following the coordinated efforts of the competent authorities of the Republic of Cyprus and the Church of Cyprus. The willingness of the Menil Foundation to return the wall paintings is much appreciated. The successful return of the wall paintings was achieved in a spirit of co-operation and provides evidence for the positive international climate created through various international and bilateral agreements between states that support the return of illegally exported treasures. Cyprus is actively involved in the efforts to protect cultural property, through the signing of memoranda with the United States of America and other countries and by participating in European and international fora.
The difficult task of the transportation of the wall paintings in Cyprus was achieved through the close collaboration between the Department of Antiquities, the Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus and the Menil Foundation. Conservators of the Department of Antiquities and the Menil Foundation conserved the wall paintings prior to their move, supervised their packing and accompanied the antiquities from the Menil Foundation Museum to the Byzantine Museum in Nicosia. In preparing the infrastructure for the re-exhibition, a large multidisciplinary team was involved including archaeologists, conservators, architects, civil engineers and specialised companies for transportation and installation. We express our gratitude to the Menil Foundation for its cooperation and we hope that its actions will set an example for the return of other important Cypriot antiquities, which are still abroad.
The wall paintings have been placed in a specially designed area in the first room of the Byzantine Museum of Archbishop Makarios III Foundation, in an attempt to provide as close an authentic setting as possible for the wall paintings. Our wish, however, is that the wall paintings will one day return to their place of origin, in the chapel of Agios Euphemianos in Lysi, after the restoration of the monument that is now in a bad state of preservation, stripped of its interior decoration.
The repatriated wall paintings have only filled a small gap in the lacuna created after the looting and illegal export of the cultural heritage of communities such as Lysi, where the memory of this heritage is retained alive through the reminiscences of its inhabitants.
COMPLETION OF CONSERVATION WORKS AT HOUSE OF DIONYSOS, KATO (NEA) PAPHOS
The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces to the public that all conservation works at the House of Dionysos, at the archaeological site of Kato Paphos, have been completed.
The project on the conservation of the mosaics and the upgrade of the shelter at the House of Dionysos was conducted by the Department of Antiquities in four phases. The project lasted for one year. The first phase of the mosaic conservation involved rooms 5 (geometric pattern), 6 (Phaedra and Hippolytos), 7 (geometric pattern), 8 (the Rape of Ganymede), 9 (geometric pattern). The second phase involved the mosaics found in the atrium (10, 11, 12 and 16). The third conservation phase involved rooms 2 (Narcissus), 3 (the Four Seasons), 15 (the Peacock), 13 and 14 (geometric patterns). The final phase involved conservation of the pebble mosaic floor depicting Scylla (room 1) and the mosaic floor depicting the Triumph of Dionysos (room 4).
Prior to the conservation of the mosaics, the Department of Antiquities had conducted a research focusing on the ancient manufacturing technology of the mosaics, the type of rocks used and their characteristics, as well as the composition and the characteristics of the plaster.
The large-scale works that were conducted for the shelter´s upgrade involved the replacement of the wall panels with wooden panels, the replacement of doors and windows, the internal and external painting of the shelter and the pedestrian bridges, the foreclosure of the roof, the installation of gutters, gully grates and water pipes to remove the water from the atrium and the shelter, and the disinsectisation of the shelter.
PRELIMINARY AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENTS OF CYPRUS AND SWITZERLAND IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON THE ILLICIT
TRAFFICKING OF ANTIQUITIES
The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Government of Switzerland initialed a bilateral agreement on 24 May 2011, after negotiations held between the representatives of Switzerland and the representatives of the Department of Antiquities, the Ministry of Communications and Works, the Legal Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the imposition of restrictions on the illegal import of cultural goods.
The agreement is launched within the context of the general efforts for the protection and preservation of the cultural heritage of both countries and the prevention of the illicit trafficking of cultural goods. It also specifies that the two countries will co-operate in the field by exchanging information, expertise and through the organization of exhibitions, conferences and training seminars.
The agreement was initialed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works Mr. Michael Constantinides and the Head of the Specialized Service of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture Mr. Benno Widmer.
MOSQUE OF HALA SULTAN
The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities announces that every Fridays the Mosque of Hala Sultan (Hala Sultan Tekke) in Larnaka will be closed between the hours of 13.00 until 15.00.
MOSQUE-CHURCH OF AGIOS ANDRONIKOS (POLIS CHRYSOCHOUS)
The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces that, as of 15 June 2010, the working hours of the Mosque (Church of Agios Andronikos) in Polis Chrysochou, are as follows:
Monday – Friday 10.00 – 13.00
Sunday 8.30 – 16.00
CYPRUS - CHINA AGREEMENT ON CULTURAL PROPERTY
For the purpose of protecting cultural heritage, Cyprus and China proceeded to initial a Memorandum for the prevention of the theft, clandestine excavation and illicit import and export of cultural property.
The agreement was initialled on the 8th of May by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works, Makis Constantinides and the Deputy Director-General of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, Dong Baohua, in the presence of the Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to Beijing, Marios Ieronymides, the Director of the Department of Antiquities, Pavlos Flourentzos, and the Director of the Department of Merchant Shipping, Sergios Sergiou and their Chinese counterparts.
According to the official announcement, “this agreement is considered important in relation to the cultural wealth of both countries. Cyprus has already signed a similar agreement with the U.S.A. In this way the government of Cyprus is trying to achieve the greatest protection possible for its cultural heritage”..
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities announces that on the 20th of July 2007 a ceremonial exchange of diplomatic notes was held between Cyprus and the United States of America signifying the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that protects the rich archaeological and ethnological heritage of Cyprus.
The MOU, which entered into force in 2002 is extended for an additional five years, effective July 16, 2007. Its continuation reflects the strong commitment of the United States to help safeguard Cypriot heritage and offers the opportunity for ongoing cooperation to reduce further pillage, thereby increasing opportunities for scientific study of intact sites. It also illustrates the strength of U.S – Cyprus bilateral relations.
The MOU enables the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to continue import restrictions on pre-Classical and Classical archaeological objects and Byzantine period ecclesiastical and ritual ethnological material unless accompanied by an export permit issued by Cyprus.
Much of the history of the island can be understood only from archaeological remains, because historical texts are very rare. The rich archaeological heritage of Cyprus illustrates the interaction of the island’s inhabitants with neighboring societies, while maintaining a unique Cypriot character. Byzantine ritual and ecclesiastical material such as icons, mosaics and frescos - ranging from approximately the 4th century A.D. through approximately the 15th century A.D. – illustrate the high degree of artistic achievement in Cyprus.
With the extension of this MOU, the list of restricted categories was amended to include ancient coins of Cypriot types produced from the end of the 6th century B.C. to 235 A.D. Coins, a significant and inseparable part of the archaeological record of the island, are especially valuable to understanding the history of Cyprus.
It is worth noting that this is the first time that the U.S have accepted to include coins in such a Memorandum.
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The Ministry of Communications and Works (Department of Antiquities), following a resolution of the Council of Ministers (No. 65.484), announces that the free entry of Cypriots and Europeans to the museums and archaeological sites of Cyprus on Sundays will no longer apply from 1.1.2008.