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Cyprus Insula – History – Memory – Reality

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The “Cyprus Insula – History – Memory – Reality” exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, showcasing the island’s rich cultural and historical journey through ancient artifacts and interactive experiences. Curated by Dr. Yiannis Toumazis and Demetra Ignatiou, it offers a profound reflection on Cyprus’s identity, from antiquity to modern challenges, making it a must-visit for those seeking to connect with the island’s soul.

What is the “Cyprus Insula – History – Memory – Reality” exhibition about?

“Cyprus Insula – History – Memory – Reality” is an exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, showcasing the island’s rich cultural and historical journey. Curated by Dr. Yiannis Toumazis and Demetra Ignatiou, it features ancient artifacts, interactive experiences, and a reflection on the island’s identity, from antiquity to modern challenges.

Exhibition Overview

The exhibition “Cyprus Insula – History – Memory – Reality” is a profound reflection on the cultural and historical journey of Cyprus, an island with an enduring legacy that stretches back through the annals of time. It is held in commemoration of a pivotal moment in the island’s recent history—the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion. The narrative of the exhibition unfolds in five acts, each one delving into different facets of Cypriot life and identity.

Curated by the esteemed Dr. Yiannis Toumazis and Demetra Ignatiou, the exhibition is a testament to the island’s cultural unity despite its complex history. Here, visitors are transported across epochs, from the ancient times to the challenges of the modern world. The works on display merge the themes of time, place, and the Cypriote people, fostering a deep connection with the island’s soul.

Historical Significance

The historical significance of Cyprus is unparalleled, and its portrayal through the exhibition is both intricate and enlightening. One of the centerpieces is Codex 655, featuring Claudius Ptolemy’s “Geography.” This late 13th–early 14th-century document is pivotal, containing the first known cartographic representation of the island. This is the first time this treasure has been displayed in Cyprus, on loan from the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi at Mount Athos.

The exhibition also casts light on the “difficult years,” a period stretching from 1963 until the aftermath of the 1974 invasion. Through immersive experiences, visitors are acquainted with the events that have shaped the modern Cypriote narrative. The use of modern and interactive technologies ensures a captivating journey through the island’s collective memory.

A Cultural Tapestry

“Cyprus Insula” is not merely an exhibition but a celebration of Cypriot culture, brought to life through diverse mediums ranging from antiquities and folk art to contemporary pieces. Historical maps, manuscripts, rare publications, and an array of archival materials are carefully woven into an intricate cultural tapestry, offering a multi-layered experience to visitors of all ages. A cornerstone of the exhibition is its interactive aspect, achieved through collaborations with institutions such the CYENS Centre of Excellence and the Cyprus Institute.

Consistent with the exhibition’s theme of inclusivity, a plethora of activities and events are slated to run parallel, including roundtable discussions, educational programs, lectures, guided tours, and activities designed for vulnerable groups. These events are a powerful means to further engage with the island’s past and present.

Visiting the Exhibition

This mesmerizing journey through Cyprus’s history is available to the public from 4 July 2024 to 30 June 2025 at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in Nicosia’s old town. The exhibition spans a thoughtful curation that underscores Cyprus’s insular identity while also pointing to the Foundation’s fresh approach to making history accessible and engaging. Visitors can also explore the Agora, the museum shop that reopens with a selection of items echoing the spirit of the Foundation’s collections and the “Cyprus Insula” exhibition itself.

What is the significance of the “Cyprus Insula – History – Memory – Reality” exhibition?

The exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and showcases the island’s rich cultural and historical journey. It offers a profound reflection on Cyprus’s identity, from antiquity to modern challenges, making it a must-visit for those seeking to connect with the island’s soul.

What can visitors expect to see at the “Cyprus Insula – History – Memory – Reality” exhibition?

Visitors can expect to see ancient artifacts, interactive experiences, historical maps, manuscripts, rare publications, and an array of archival materials carefully woven into an intricate cultural tapestry. The exhibition offers a multi-layered experience that spans from ancient times to modern challenges, providing a deep connection with Cyprus’s collective memory.

Where is the “Cyprus Insula – History – Memory – Reality” exhibition located?

The exhibition is located at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in Nicosia’s old town. It will be open to the public from 4 July 2024 to 30 June 2025, offering a mesmerizing journey through Cyprus’s history and cultural identity.

Are there any special events or activities associated with the exhibition?

Yes, there are parallel events and activities planned, including roundtable discussions, educational programs, lectures, guided tours, and activities designed for vulnerable groups. These events aim to further engage visitors with the island’s past and present, making the exhibition experience more immersive and interactive.

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