Facts about Cyprus

Area: 9,251 sq km
Capital: Nicosia
Language: Greek, Turkish
Currency: Euro
  Turkish Lira
Population: 784,301
Coastline: 648 sq km

Cyprus Art

Throughout the centuries both the history of Cyprus and Cyprus culture have been formed by its location at the crossroads of cultural exchange between Europe, Asia and Africa . Antiquities excavated on Cyprus bear witness to a culture influenced from abroad, due to its geographic location between the great cultures of the ancient world, but which developed from these influences its own unique tradition. Though less well known than the art of Ancient Greece and Rome , Cyprus culture and art have a charm of its own.

The Kyrenia Museum of Folk Art situated on the Kyrenia Harbour road was opened in 1974. It is a fine example of pre XVII Century buildings which have traditionally housed Cypriots.

These buildings consisting of a ground floor and an upper floor and have their main entrances opening to the harbour. These typical Cypriot houses contain many traditional Cypriot items. On the ground floor, there are items such as oil-mill, plough, agricultural instruments, large earthenware fan, and workbenches which were used in Cyprus until recently, but are not known by the younger generation.

There is a room for a watchman on the stairway leading to the upper floor. In the first room of the upper floor there are examples of especially chosen works and handy works (crochet work, materials embroidered with colorful threads or silver threads, bedspreads, tables covers, head scarves, pillow cases, woolen socks and bowls etc...) from various areas of Cyprus , displayed in glass cabinets. The second room used as a kitchen contains water jugs, wooden mortars, wine bowls, and ceramic bowls.

There is a corner in the third and largest room which was used as a resting place. In the middle of the room, a wooden bed, a wooden cupboard, a cabinet containing various women's and men's clothes, raised wooden shelves with ceramic and metal cups displayed upon them. The third largest room has been arranged in this way. It is possible to see, clothes, chests, tables, chair, wall cupboards, doors and windows, in the all parts of the museum.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum 's collection of Cypriot art contains over 700 objects dating from the early Bronze Age to the Roman Empire; it is thus one of the largest and most important in Europe . Its two best known masterpieces are: the Amazonian Sarcophagus from Soloi, and the Artemis from Larnaca. The Amazonian Sarcophagus was discovered in the 16th century, and records show it to have been in Vienna since the early 17th century. But the main stock of the Cypriot collection representing fine Cyprus culture- limestone sculptures, ceramics, and terracottas - was assembled during the last third of the 19th century when objects from the collections of Luigi Palma di Cesnola, Max Ohnefalsch-Richter, and Georg von Millosicz were acquired.

The Cyprus Museum in Nicosia houses the richest and most representative collection of Cypriot antiquities in Cyprus . In its exhibition rooms one may see some of the most important pieces of Cyprus art and get a comprehensive picture of the Cyprus culture from the Neolithic period to the Roman times.

There are also district archaeological museums in all towns, local museums, in Episkopi (Limassol) for the antiquities of Kourion and at Kouklia (Paphos) for the antiquities of Paleapaphos and Marion-Arsinoe, Polis tis Chrysochous. There are also a Medieval Museum in the Castle of Limassol and Folk Art Museums at Yeroskipou, Lefkara and Phikardhou as well as an Ethnological Museum in Nicosia at the House of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios.

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