Cookies management by TermsFeed Cookie Consent
Recent News

Press Releases

17-06-2024 15:49

Cypriot ancient ceramic vessel handed over in Berlin by the Alexander Malios Research Institute for Cypriot Heritage and Archaeology – Leipzig

The Department of Antiquities of the Deputy Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Cyprus announces that on the 17th June 2024 a Cypriot ancient artefact was handed over to the Cyprus authorities in Berlin by the Alexander Malios Research Institute for Cypriot Heritage and Archaeology. Mr Malios handed over the artefact to the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr Vasiliki Kassianidou, and the Curator of Antiquities, Ms Eftychia Zachariou.

Mr Malios decided to hand over the antiquity for repatriation after he had contacted the Cyprus authorities and was informed that the object had been exported illegally from the island. It is a skyphos, a ceramic open vessel (a wide-mouthed type of drinking cup), dating to the 8th c. BC. It is adorned with painted decoration consisting of birds and geometric motifs. The ancient vessel had been recorded and inventoried in the town of Ammochostos (Famagusta) prior to 1974 and published in 1970. As a result of the Turkish invasion and occupation of more than 36% of the territories of Cyprus (including Ammochostos), the artefact had been exported illegally and had been missing since, like many other cultural objects which were in the areas that are currently not under the effective control of the competent authorities of the Republic of Cyprus.

The Department of Antiquities wishes to warmly thank Mr Alexander Malios for his considerate and ethically correct decision to return the artefact to its country of origin. Sincere appreciation is also expressed towards the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Berlin and especially to the Ambassador Maria Papakyriacou and to Mr Demetris Demetriou, Deputy Chief of Mission, whose contribution towards this positive outcome of the case was crucial.

The Department of Antiquities, as the competent authority of the Republic of Cyprus for the protection and management of the island’s archaeological heritage, will continue its intensive efforts to further protect the cultural heritage both at a local and an international level. These actions are always conducted in close collaboration with the National Committee for Combatting the Looting and Illicit Trafficking of Antiquities. Such efforts include, inter alia, intensifying targeted investigations that aim to identify and repatriate illicitly trafficked cultural objects, further developing and employing new technologies in this field, training the personnel of the competent authorities that are involved in the fight against the looting and illicit trafficking of cultural heritage and last but not least, creating awareness to the general public on such issues, considering that the role of the public is extremely crucial in this field.