Cyprus Insula

History-Memory-Reality

An exhibition in five acts, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

In a contemporary and interactive way, the exhibition Cyprus Insula History – Memory – Reality captures life in Cyprus from antiquity to the present day, conveying the unwavering message of the indisputable insular character of Cyprus.

Curated by Dr. Yiannis Toumazis and Demetra Ignatiou, the exhibition examines the historically unified cultural character of Cyprus, which combines elements from the island’s rich, complex and multifaceted historical past.

Centred around the triptych: Time │ Place │ People, associations emerge and narratives are constructed, showcasing aspects of the history and contemporary reality of Cyprus that have contributed to the forging of the undivided insular identity.

In addition, continuities and discontinuities –sometimes dominating and other times eluding historical memory– emerge and are assimilated over time in the historical trajectory of Cyprus.

The exhibition takes its name from Codex 655, Ptolemy’s Geography (late 13th–early 14th century), which presents the earliest known cartographic depiction of Cyprus, by Claudius Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD. This valuable exhibit, presented for the first time in Cyprus, has been kindly made available for the exhibition by the Holy Great Monastery of Vatopedi at Mount Athos.

Part of the exhibition is dedicated to the “difficult years” of the Republic of Cyprus: from 1963-1964 to the tragic aftermath of the Turkish invasion in 1974. Through a specially designed immersive experience, viewers will have the opportunity to become acquainted with defining events of the contemporary history of Cyprus.

Modern and interactive technologies have been used for the design and presentation of the exhibition, so that, in combination with the substantial material of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation's collections, as well as selected exhibits from significant public and private collections, compelling narratives and itineraries will be created, with the aim of targeting all ages. Featured exhibits include antiquities, folk art, contemporary artworks, historical maps, rare publications, manuscripts and engravings, as well as printed and digital archival material, and digital applications.

For the digital and interactive applications, the Cultural Foundation has collaborated with the CYENS Centre of Excellence, the Cyprus Institute, the Harokopio University of Athens, the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, Stavroula Gregoriou, Maria Leonidou and Stathis Mitsios.

The nature of the exhibition constitutes the precursor of the Foundation’s new identity, which aims to showcase its rich collections through innovative museological and museographic approaches and at making its substantial archive accessible to the general public.

The exhibition, which will run from 4 July 2024 to 30 June 2025, will be open daily (10:00–19:00) in the premises of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in the old town of Nicosia. At the same time, the “Agora”, the Cultural Foundation’s shop, will reopen, offering items inspired by the Foundation’s collections, as well as the Cyprus Insula exhibition.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a relevant publication, as well as parallel actions and events that will be directly related to the exhibition’s theme, such as:

  • Roundtable Discussions
  • Experiential and educational programmes
  • Lectures
  • Presentations
  • Specially designed activities based on the multi-sensory museum experience “Aisthiseis” (Senses) of the BoC Cultural Foundation for vulnerable groups.