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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-01-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Leventis Museum, the capitals own museum which tells the story of this divided city, has opened officially, after a renovation which took over a year to complete.

    Inaugurating the new revamped museum, President Demetris Christofias said that in an era in which a small society like the Cypriot society is becoming global, and in which citizens face challenges from foreign and multicultural patterns, preserving the countrys cultural heritage is more than imperative.

    President Christofias stressed that cultural heritage is everything that man creates through the ages It is the traditions, the customs, the language, the music, the religion, the civilization, he added.

    The President referred to the history of Leventis Museum, which in 2009 marked 20 years since it first opened. Twenty years of offering to the city of Nicosia, twenty years of enviable service to the civilisation of our country, he said, adding that the fact that the museum won the European Museum of the Year in 1991 proves its significant contribution right from the start.

    President Christofias also praised the educational role of the museum, through its participation in the programmes of the Ministry of Education and Cultures. In addition, he highlighted the role of the museum in the effort to promote local culture, since many tourists visit it daily. The museum advertises our country internationally, advertises the history and the cultural heritage of the last divided capital of Europe and of Cyprus in general, he underlined.

    Civilisation is a source of optimism for our people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Civilisation unites people through diversity, something very essential to help the united Cypriot people achieve the reunification of the country and its survival in a common homeland, the President said.

    Last year, the Museum marked 20 years since it first opened in April 1989 and now enters the new decade with ambitious planning, as it offers its visitors improvements in the actual building that houses the museum and additional exhibits. The 5 million euro renovation was paid for by the A. G. Leventis Foundation, which has also donated various priceless items to the Museum.

    The Leventis Museum of Nicosia tells the story of the capital Nicosia and unfolds its long history over the centuries. As Nicosia Mayor Eleni Mavrou said during a press preview of the Museum in December it is no coincidence that this museum won the European Museum of the Year in 1991, as she gave credit to all those who had the vision to set up the museum.

    The revamped Museum applies digital technology to take the visitor on a tour of Nicosia. It also has an interactive electronic map of the capital. Furthermore, it provides additional amenities, such as small and light portable seating and other facilities for the disabled.

    The Museum is housed in a building constructed in 1885, which for years was the residence of former Nicosia Mayor Themistoklis Dervis. Since it has expanded, the Museum now includes part of the adjoining building

    Architect Nayia Savvidou, who worked for the expansion of the Museum, has said that the design of the exhibition areas was to highlight the history and the civilization of Nicosia over the past 7,000 years and to help all visitors of different ages and cultural background to enjoy and study the collections on display.

    Creative Director Andreas Appios has expressed pride and satisfaction with the work that has been done by the entire team which worked very hard to renovate the Museum, which he described as a jewel for Cypriot civilization.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island`s northern part. Nicosia remains the last divided city in Europe.


    President Demetris Christofias has stated that he was not surprised by the proposals on governance and power-sharing Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has conveyed to him in the context of the ongoing UN-led negotiations.

    Speaking after the inauguration of the revamped Leventis Museum, and asked about the Turkish proposals, President Christofias said that he would comment on the proposals at the appropriate time, noting that on Sunday the Informal Party Leaders Council will convene to discuss the proposals.

    Since some of the party leaders did the right thing and refused to make any comment, in anticipation of tomorrows meeting, it is not proper for the President of the Republic to make any comment, he said. Asked if was surprised by the proposals, President Christofias said no.

    President Christofias Talat begin on Monday a series of intensive talks aiming at more convergences on governance and power-sharing, the economy and EU matters. They will also continue their discussion on the property issue. The two leaders have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008 with a view to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

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