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16-04-2021 15:15

“Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures” the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus Celebrates the International Day for Monuments and Sites, 18 April 2021

18 April was established in 1983 by UNESCO, as the International Day for Monuments and Sites, following a proposal by the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). In celebration of this important day, with the ultimate aim of raising public awareness of the importance of culture, a different theme is promoted every year and events are organized with the participation of citizens. This year, as the entire planet continues to experience unprecedented conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization of events will be limited to the promotion of our cultural heritage, as it is preserved through monuments and archaeological sites, by using technology and the internet.

This year’s theme for the celebration of the International Day for Monuments and Sites, entitled “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures”, emphasizes the need to recognize the multiple significance and complex character of our cultural heritage, in order to be a beacon for a complex, diverse and promising future based on the timeless values of the past. As demonstrated throughout the current pandemic crisis, we can effectively address the serious challenges faced by modern societies, with our cultural heritage as a compass. It is the belief of the Department of Antiquities that the difficulties of today, can as a whole, be faced with more power and confidence, through the knowledge of the past and the heritage of humankind.

Cyprus has a complex past, due mainly to its important geographical location, as clearly portrayed through the Cultural Heritage that is preserved to this day. As a bridge between the West and the East and as evidenced through material culture dating to diverse chronological periods , Cyprus has played a decisive role over time in the transfer of people, objects and ideas between cultures. By bequeathing this wealth, we must invest in the universal values represented by our complex past, for solidarity and unity, at the state and transnational level.

The Department of Antiquities, within the framework of the International Day for Monuments and Sites, will celebrate the connection between our Complex past and Diverse future, by organizing an online concert which will be presented on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 19:00 via the social media accounts of the Department of Antiquities (YouTube and Facebook). The online concert will present the multi-award winning and internationally recognized Cypriot band Monsieur Doumani at the archaeological site of Kourion. Through this event the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy the original music of the band, in conjunction with the unique images of the monuments and the natural landscape that comprise and surround this unique and important archaeological site of the Lemesos District.

In addition, on the occasion of the International Day for Monuments and Sites, the Department of Antiquities announces to the general public the completion of maintenance and restoration works of important monuments of modern culture in order to deliver them to other institutions to be re-used.. This will bring about a real connection between the past and the future. In particular, three such monuments, which the Department of Antiquities has preserved and restored, will be delivered to three public interest organizations.  These are (a) the Medieval Manor in Potamia, which will be handed over to the University of Cyprus for the use of the Department of Biological Sciences, (b) a traditional house in the village of Pera Oreinis, which will be handed over to the Community Council for cultural activities and (c) a building adjacent to the Silihtar Aqueduct in Lefkosia which will be handed over to the National Commission of the International Council of Monuments and Sites, ICOMOS Cyprus for use as its headquarters and offices.

The use of Ancient Monuments for modern needs is one of the management policies implemented by the Department of Antiquities. This aspect is highlighted in the context of this year’s theme of the International Day for Monuments and Sites: Complex Pasts-Diverse Futures. It is worth noting that the restoration of these monuments is only a part of the large and diverse work of the Department of Antiquities in order to manage, maintain, upgrade and highlight archaeological sites and monuments throughout Cyprus, with the aim of preserving the various aspects of our country’s past.

Finally, on the axis of these activities, as well as the celebrations for the International Day for Monuments and Sites for 2021, the Department of Antiquities, co-organizes, together with ICOMOS Cyprus and other local bodies, the 5th International Biennale of Architecture and Urban Restoration Brau5, which will also be held online due to the current health security measures. The presentations concerning Cyprus will be transmitted on Saturday, April 24, 2021, whilst relevant information will be posted on the websites of the event and of the Department of Antiquities.

 

EH/SCH