The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that the duration of the temporary exhibition “Amathous of Cyprus, a city most ancient” is extended until December 29, 2017.
The exhibition is presented at the Archaeological Museum of the Lemesos District. Due to the large numbers of visitors from schools and the wider public, the duration of the exhibition will be extended.
During the Summer period guided tours will be offered by Archaeological Officers of the Department of Antiquities during the following dates and times:
8 July 2017, at 10:00 (the tour will be offered in Greek)
29 July 2017, at 10:00 (the tour will be offered in English)
5 August 2017, at 10:00 (the tour will be offered in Greek)
26 August 2017, at 10:00 (the tour will be offered in English)
Guided tours will also be offered during the period September-December 2017. The dates will be announced at a later date.
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that, due to the celebrations of the month of Ramadan, a visit by a number of pilgrims will take place at the Mosque of Hala Sultan in Larnaka. Τhe mosque will therefore not be accessible to the general public on Tuesday 27 June 2017.
We apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused.
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that on Wednesday 14 June, from 15.00-18.00 and Saturday June 17, 2017 the Cyprus Museum and the Ethnological Museum, The House of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios will remain closed due to the Cyprus Rally 2017.
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that the Pafos Castle will be closed to the public on Saturday the 20th of May from 13.00 to 19.30 and on Sunday 21st of Μay 2017, from 11.00 to 13.30 due to events relating to “Pafos 2017”. The Department of Antiquities apologizes for any inconvenience that may be caused to the visitors of the monument.
LIGHT IT UP 4 HD - LIGHTING OF MONUMENTS AND MUSEUMS
FOR HUNTINGTON DISEASE (HD) MAY AWARENESS MONTH
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that from the 15th until the 21st of May 2017, it will participate in the international event entitled Light it Up 4 HD, in the framework of Huntington’s Disease (HD) May Awareness month. Amongst other events, significant buildings and monuments worldwide will turn purple and blue (purple for Juvenile Huntington disease and blue for Huntington disease (HD) [for further information see: https://www.huntingtonsociety.ca/lightitup4hd/]. In the context of this event, the Cyprus Museum, the Medieval castles of Pafos, Lemesos, Kolossi and Larnaka, and other public buildings in Cyprus will turn purple and blue.
The Department of Antiquities supports the efforts of the newly established Huntington's Disease Association of Cyprus which, in collaboration with the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, is dedicated to informing the public and supporting individuals and families affected directly or indirectly by Huntington's Disease. With this participation, once again, the Department of Antiquities declares the significance of cultural heritage in constructing a healthier and more humanistic present via the employment past.
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that on Tuesday May 9, 2017 from 12 pm and Wednesday May 10, 2017 the archaeological site of Kourion will be closed for the public due to the Annual General Meeting of the European Regional Development Bank.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF LARNAKA DISTRICT
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works announces that from May 8th, 2017 until November 2017, the Archaeological Museum of Larnaka District will be closed for the public due to improvement works in the building as well as work concerning the new exhibition of the museum's archaeological collection. The Department of Antiquities apologizes for any inconvenience that may be caused.
INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURAL COMPETITION FOR THE NEW CYPRUS MUSEUM
The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works announces that on September 16, 2016, the international architectural competition for the New Cyprus Museum was announced, and on January 20, 2017, the last date for the submission of proposals, a total of one hundred and twenty-nine (129) entries were received.
On February 3, 2017, the evaluation of the first stage of the Contest was completed and seven (7) architectural proposals for the New Cyprus Museum were selected, representing a wide range of different approaches.
The seven (7) architects / architectural offices selected are the following:
• DIMITRIS THOMOPOULOS – GREECE
• GILBARTOLOME ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN WORKSHOP SL – SPAIN
• PAUL KALOUSTIAN - LEBANON
• PEDRO PITARCH ALONSO – SPAIN
• SITE SPECIFIC, ARQUITECTURA LDA AND MANUEL AIRES MATEUS – PORTUGAL
• THEONI XANTHI – GREECE
• YANNIS KIZIS / KIZIS STUDIO SA ARCHITECTS & DESIGNERS – GREECE
The official announcement of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, dated 6/2/2017, can be found at the following link: http://www.mcw.gov.cy/mcw/mcw.nsf/All/1FC78915C13B8AF6C22580BF001D3FE6?OpenDocument
Services sought for the Conservation of Ceramic Finds from Underwater Excavations and Surveys as part of the Department of Antiquities’ work in the Conservation of Underwater Finds
The Department of Antiquities would like to inform prospective tenderers that clarifications have been posted on https://www.eprocurement.gov.cy/ceproc/cft/listClarification.do?resourceId=1839311
LIGHT IT UP BLUE - BLUE LIGHTING OF MONUMENTS AND MUSEUMS
FOR INTERNATIONAL AUTISM AWARENESS DAY, 2 APRIL 2017
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that on 2 April 2017 it will participate in the international event entitled Light it Up Blue, for the celebration of International Autism Awareness Day. In the context of this event, the Cyprus Museum, the Archaeological Museums of Lemesos and Larnaka Districts, the Local Archaeological Museum of Marion-Arsinoe, the Castles of Pafos, Lemesos, Kolossi and Larnaka, the Medieval Manor House at Kouklia, and the archaeological sites at Choirokoitia and Amathous, will be lit blue. The participation in this international endeavour to raise public awareness on the idiosyncrasies and difficulties faced by persons in the Autism spectrum and their families, aligns with the vision and mission of the Department of Antiquities to create a solid framework for social development based on archaeological and cultural values. With this action, the Department of Antiquities wishes to stress once again that the protection and promotion of our archaeological heritage does not exist independently of the social context, but comprises of actions targeted towards all citizens and for the prosperity of modern culture.
Services sought for the Conservation of Ceramic Finds from Underwater Excavations and Surveys as part of the Department of Antiquities’ work in the Conservation of Underwater Finds
The Department of Antiquities announces it is tendering for services for the conservation of ceramic finds from underwater excavations and surveys.
The project is funded 100% by the Honor Frost Foundation.
Deadline of application: 12 April 2017, 11am
To download the Tender Documents (in Greek) please click on the link below:
or contact 22 806708 or 22 865874.
RESTORATION WORKS AT THE PREHISTORIC
SETTLEMENT LEMPA / LAKKOI
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works announces that at the Prehistoric settlement Lempa/Lakkoi will remain closed to the public from 15th of February, 2017 due to restoration works.
CONSERVATION WORKS AT THE HOUSES OF DIONYSOS AND AION
AT THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF KATO PAFOS, AND THE HOUSE
OF EUSTOLIOS AT THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF KOURION
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that the Houses of Dionysos and Aion at the archaeological site of Kato Pafos and the House of Eustolios at the archaeological site of Kourion, will be closed to the public, due to scheduled conservation works, during the following dates:
House of Dionysos: 20 February 2017 – 24 February 2017
House of Aion: 28 February 2017 – 1 March 2017
House of Eustolios: 2 March 2017 – 3 March 2017
GUIDED TOURS TO THE EXHIBITION
“Amathous of Cyprus, a city most ancient”
Archaeological Museum of the Lemesos District
7th October 2016 – 7th July 2017
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces that for the duration of the temporary exhibition “Amathous of Cyprus, a city most ancient” at the Archaeological Museum of the Lemesos District, guided tours will be offered by Archaeological Officers of the Department of Antiquities during the following dates and times:
28 January 2017, at 10:00 (in Greek)
4 February 2017, at 10:00 (in Greek)
11 March 2017, at 10:00 (in Greek)
18 March 2017, at 10:00 (in English)
8 April 2017, at 10:00 (in Greek)
29 April 2017, at 10:00 (in Greek)
6 May 2017, at 10:00 (in English)
20 May 2017, at 10:00 (in Greek)
10 June 2017, at 10:00 (in English)
24 June 2017, at 10:00 (in Greek)
KOURION ARCHAELOGICAL SITE
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, would like to inform the public wishing to celebrate Green Monday at the ancient Kourion beach, that ascending and descending the ancient Kourion Hill with 4X4 quad bikes and motorcycles is strictly prohibited. This area has been declared an Ancient Monument of Schedule A. In the last few years it has been observed that on Green Mondays, visitors taking part in such actions are destroying the archaeological stratigraphy and the architectural remains of the site. We would like to urge the public to avoid these activities as they are considered to be both dangerous and destructive for our cultural heritage.
We hope for your understanding in this serious matter and anticipate that the public will conform to the instructions of the Department of Antiquities.
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 (email@example.com) or by telephone (+357-22865815 / +357-99639673).
OPENING CEREMONY OF THE NEW VISITORS’ CENTRE
OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF KITION, LARNAKA
Friday, 18th of October 2013, at 5:30 pm
5:30 pm: Tour by personnel of the Department of Antiquities
6:00 pm: Address by the Minister of Communications and Works
Mr Tasos Mitsopoulos
Address by the Mayor of Larnaka
Mr Andreas Louroutziatis
Address by the Acting Director of the Department of Antiquities,
Dr Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou
6:10 pm: Speech by the excavator of the site, Dr Vassos Karageorghis,
Professor Emeritus of the University of Cyprus
6:30 pm: Musical programme by the “Melodia” vocal group of Kition-
Aradippou Hellenic Music School
A cocktail reception will follow at the Visitors’ Centre
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.
ROOM II OF THE CYPRUS MUSEUM
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, announces to the public that Room II of the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia is currently under renovation and is closed to the public.
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
PAFOS MEDIEVAL CASTLE
The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces that the Paphos Medieval Castle will be closed to the public from the 26th of August 2013 to the 9th of September 2013, both dates included, due to works relating to the Paphos Aphrodite Festival 2013.
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.
RENOVATION WORKS IN ROOM II OF THE CYPRUS MUSEUMThe Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, announces to the public that between Wednesday 10th July 2013 and Tuesday 30th July 2013, inclusive, Room II of the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia will be
closed for visitors due to renovation works.
MUSEUM OF MAA-PALAIOKASTRO
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, announces that as of Wednesday, 23rd of January 2013, the Museum of Maa Palaiokastro will remain closed for restoration work.
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.
anThrOPOS: Faces of Cyprus through the Ages
(Special Exhibition Hall)
18 MAY 2012 – 18 JANUARY 2013
FRIDAY, 18 MAY 2012
08:00 - 23:00 The Cyprus Museum will be open and entry will be free. At the Museum this year, celebrations for International Museum Day, the European Night of Museums and Cyprus’ Presidency of the Council of the E.U. will be combined.
An exhibition entitled: “anThrOPOS: Faces of Cyprus through the Ages” will be organised in the Cyprus Museum’s Special Exhibition Hall. The exhibition explores the human form as it is represented in the art of Cyprus from the Neolithic period until today, focusing specifically on depictions of the human face. Ancient stone and terracotta heads will be presented and emphasis will be placed on facial features, hairstyles, headdresses as well as various other mediums of body ornamentation (jewellery, tattoos etc) as depicted through the ages. Through this variety of representations the visitor will be able to trace features which highlight the concept of personal and group identity as well as trends in face representation throughout antiquity. The visitor’s journey will continue with an exhibition of unique photographic portraits of Cypriot villagers taken in the 30’s, 40’ and 50’s by Porphyrios Dikaios during his archaeological explorations of the island. This dialogue of past and present is completed with an audiovisual installation by Haris Epaminonda, inspired by faces of the past. The artist’s 2012 project is a new addition to her ongoing work entitled ‘Chronicles’ (2010-ongoing).
18:00-19:00 & 20:00-21:00 Guided tours
19:30 (Library): The new publication of the Department of Antiquities titled: “Faces and Places of Cyprus (1933-1956): Porphyrios Dikaios’ Photographs at the Department of Antiquities” will be presented by Professor Euphrosyne Rizopoulou-Egoumenidou, University of Cyprus.
20:00 - 23:00 Live jazz music with DKQ and reception in the gardens of the Cyprus Museum.
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.
CONSERVATION WORK AT THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF KATO PAPHOS, HOUSE OF AION
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
TREFFICKING 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.