On Friday 11 October 2019 also Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicos Christodoulides and his Dutch colleague, Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok, visited the exhibition “Cyprus, A Dynamic Island” in the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden. They also had a diplomatic meeting and discussed bilateral cooperation and current issues in and outside the EU.
Cypriot Minister of Transport, Communications and Works H.E. Ms. Vassiliki Anastassiadou officially opened the exhibition “Cyprus – A Dynamic Island” at the Netherlands National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden on Thursday 10 October 2019, which showcases a large number of Cypriot antiquities.
Over 400 objects, including 300 archeological masterpieces from the national collections of Cyprus are put on display.
In her speech Minister Anastassiadou “It is universally agreed that a country’s history and cultural heritage are among the most important factors that shape both its relations with the outside world and its internal development. Cyprus’ cultural heritage dates back to at least eleven thousand years. Its settings at the crossroad of vital sea routes made the island a melting pot of cultures, an extremely important commercial centre but at the same time, a land much fought for by conquerors.”
She also said: “Although to this day suffers as a result of its strategic location, at the same time, it has greatly benefited from its intense interaction with a diversity of cultures and this is certainly reflected on its cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible.”
The current exhibition is the result of the strong and fruitful collaboration between the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities and the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus. Part of this close collaboration between the two organizations concerns the protection and repatriation of Cypriot cultural heritage.
An example of this close collaboration occurred in 2018, when the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities alerted the Department of Antiquities in Cyprus that a Hellenistic limestone head from the Cesnola collection in New York was part of an art fair in Brussels. Cyprus was able to acquire the object and return it to the island. The sculpture now plays a prominent role in this exhibition.
Minister Anastassiadou expressed her warmest gratitude and admiration to the Museum’s director as well as to the amazing people of the Museum who worked with such professionalism and passion on the exhibition.
She gave a special thanks to the Ambassador of Cyprus in The Hague, H.E. Mr. Elpidoforos Economou for all the effort he put to make this project happen. The opening was attended by many ambassadors and archeological scholars.