RENOVATION WORKS AT THE LOCAL KOURION MUSEUM, EPISKOPI
From the 30th April until the 17th May 2013 (inclusive) restoration works will be carried out at the Local Kourion Museum, Episkopi. As a result, only one of the two Exhibition Rooms will be open to the public each day.
REVISED OPENING HOURS
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, announces that following the revised working hours of the civil service the opening hours of the Department of Antiquities' Museums, Monuments and Archaeological Sites will be as follows as of February the 25th 2013:
REVISED OPENING HOURS
Local Museum of Marion-Arsinoe at Polis Chrysochous
The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces that the Local Museum of Marion-Arsinoe at Polis Chrysochous will be closed from March 12 to May 6 (inclusive) 2013, due to renovation work.
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.