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06-06-2018 12:49

The Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the Netherlands inaugurates the exhibition “Where have you been?” by Toula Liasi

The Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the Netherlands, Mr Elpidoforos Economou, inaugurated the exhibition “Where have you been?” in The Hague, on Saturday, June 2, 2018. The exhibition by Cypriot artist Ms Toula Liasi is dedicated to the missing persons in Cyprus and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus.

At the inauguration, Ambassador Economou delivered a speech on behalf of Presidential Commissioner Mr Photis Photiou: “The exhibition brings to our attention, through the power of art, all the dimensions of the most dramatic aspect of the recent history of Cyprus: the tragedy of the missing Cypriots” “With her latest project, Toula manages to keep alive and remind to us all the open wound of Cyprus’ history, but also she significantly contributes in raising awareness on this vital humanitarian issue.”

“Where have you been?” is an art project inspired by the personal story of Toula Liasi, who has been living and working in The Hague for nearly four decades. Her only brother, who had been missing since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, was found in a mass grave and identified through a DNA identification process in 2014, after 40 long years. This overwhelming, emotional experience triggered a flood of ideas for this art project that addresses the issue of the missing persons in Cyprus. Three of Ms Liasi’s earlier major art projects had already been dedicated to her enclaved compatriots, who have been a constant inspiration for her throughout the years.

The exhibition opened with a performance by the acclaimed Dutch trombonist Jörgen van Rijen and a parallel screening of a video installation by Toula Liasi. The opening was attended by more than a hundred guests, among whom Ambassadors, members of the Corps Diplomatique, various artists and representatives of culture, and members of the Cypriot and Greek communities of the Netherlands.