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“Meet the FIVE Face to Face”: Cyprus Discovers its Identity Through its History

From left to right: Mrs. Giota Papadopoulou, Prof. Stavros Malas, Mrs. Philippa Karsera-Christodoulides, Dr Kirsi Lorentz and Mr. Michalis Hatzigiannis

Contemporary Cypriot culture and the historical signature of the past was highlighted at the event “Meet the 5 Face to Face” organized by The Cyprus Institute and the Department of Antiquities, in the presence of the First Lady, Mrs. Philippa Karsera-Christodoulides and the Deputy Minister of Culture Mr. Michalis Hatzigiannis.

 Jewellery, fashion, ceramics, wine and culinary art, inspired by Cypriot history but with modern aesthetics and for the contemporary palate were presented, showcasing the island's rich cultural heritage through the energising marriage of the modern and the old.
In particular, the ceramic artist Efthimios Symeou, the jewellery designer Yiannos Ioannou, the fashion designer Kika Ioannidou, the oenologist Sofocles Vlassidis and the culinary artist Roddy Damalis presented their work, interlaced with historical theatrical readings of real-life stories from the Chalcolithic, Greco-Roman and medieval period.
Five stories of people who lived in Cyprus in the past were brought to life through creative storytelling, using technology including augmented reality, sound and image. Five people of yesterday returned to the Cyprus of today, as a result of the detailed scientific analyses of their remains, illuminating aspects of the daily life of our ancestors in relation to the modern era.
The event took place on Tuesday, May 30th, at the Cyprus Museum and is part of the broader project entitled “Face to Face: Meet an Ancient Cypriot”, led by CyI Assoc. Professor Kirsi Lorentz, which aims to valorize research results for tourist engagement, through their contact with the cultural heritage and history of Cyprus.
The results of the scientific research within the context of this project, could become an important contributor in the efforts to upgrade Cyprus’ tourism product, giving the country a huge competitive advantage and at the same time contributing to the stimulation of the economy.
In his welcoming address, President of The Cyprus Institute, Dr Stavros Malas, highlighted the work of CyI and its researchers, who have the expertise to reproduce even the lives of people of ancient times, and at the same time the ability to turn archaeological findings into an object of curiosity for the public, inducing knowledge acquisition. “The Cyprus Institute will continue to be at the forefront, next to society and the state”, he said.
On behalf of the Director of the Department of Antiquities, Ms. Eftychia Zachariou, Curator of Antiquities, noted that this result is a 4-year effort, which bridges the gap between yesterday and today. This program, she explained, places the life of the ancient Cypriots at the center, decoding the evidence from their skeletal remains, and thus giving them a voice, so that these can contribute towards the creation of cultural routes and alternative tourism products.
The Deputy Minister of Culture, Mr. Michalis Hatzigiannis, spoke about utilizing the results of The Cyprus Institute's scientific research in such a creative and successful way. This project, he said, is a manifestation of the creativity of Cypriot culture at its finest. “This project is fuelled by a synergistic and creative energy, which results in the marriage of the ancient and the modern in Cyprus”, he noted.
Host Organisation: The Cyprus Institute. Contributing partners include: Department of Antiquities, Deputy Ministry of Tourism, Cyprus University of Technology, ACTA, ACTE, Limassol Development Agency, Vlassides Winery, Roddy Damalis, Yiannos Ioannou of Nikos Ioannou Jewelers, Studio Ceramics,TOP KINISIS Travel PLC, Kika Ioannidou, and the participating foreign research organizations, University of Cambridge and University of Bradford.
The project “The Face to Face: Meet an Ancient Cypriot” is funded by the Research Innovation Foundation, and involves academics, researchers as well as social and governmental bodies. As part of this project, an exhibition titled “FIVE / ΠΕΝΤΕ” Face to Face: Meet an Ancient Cypriot” is taking place at the Cyprus Museum from 31st of March until 17th of September 2023.
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