Introduction

OF THE PRESIDENT DR SOPHOCLES SOPHOCLEOUS

Sophocles Sophocleous

The Centre of Cultural Heritage celebrated its 20th anniversary on the 11th of December 2010 and completed in 2016 its 26th year of existence.

I am pleased to use our updated website to review our 26 years of service – a multi-dimensional service covering the areas of research and education in Archaeology, History of Art, Cultural Heritage, Museologoy, Theory and Practice of Conservation-Restoration, even that of the Natural Heritage. It also includes areas such as the recording and digital archiving of the artistic heritage of Cyprus, such as the pioneering project of EIKONOLOGION. Among CCH priorities are also the restoration and conservation of Cyprus's cultural heritage, its study and enhancement through the creation of museums, the organisation of exhibitions and congresses, lectures and teaching of seminars, as well as by means of publications. Since 1990 Universities, Research Centres, Municipalities and Communities, as well as the Church and the Government of Cyprus, NGOs and individuals, have collaborated with the Centre in various programmes and projects. Expert studies and consultancies have been carried out for several municipalities and communities of Cyprus. Various contributions were made for further development of the cultural tourism. Also programmes focusing on the recording and study of the natural heritage are being carried out, such as the FLORA CYPRIA, which is the inventory of the main traditional plants of Cyprus and Mediterranean. Our Cente promotes their use for landscaping so that the physiognomy of the traditional Cypriot and Mediterranean landscape is not altered. In 2014 the Centre acquired a conference room thanks to the generous grant of TOTAL E&P CYPRUS. In this way CCH is organising now seminars on Art History, Ancient Greek Art, Greek Mythology and others. The Centre accepts also students for internships they enable them to specialise in various areas of the studies on cultural heritage. Thanks to TOTAL E&P CYPRUS support our Centre is achieving the project of EIKONOLOGION, which is the digital archives of the natural and cultural heritage of Cyprus; it will be open in the internet to the international academic community for research.

Our principle is that the results of scientific research must not only be promoted to the academic community, but also to the wider public to improve popular education, self-understanding and awareness for its national civilisation and ancestral bequeath in order to march in safe within the today’s phenomenon of universalisation that tends to alter and even the national civilisations all over the planet. Every national civilisation developed for millenia in its own geographic area is a jewel and a cultural beauty and richness to be preserved.

These twenty five years of work and service were made possible through the support of the State and the Church of Cyprus, as well as of the Local Authorities and private initiative. I make a particular mention of the role of the Department of Antiquities, of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture, of the Municipality of Nicosia, the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation and Total E&P Cyprus.

On this occasion I would like to express my deepest thanks to the staff and associates of the Centre, to the benefactors, donors and other supporters who have made possible the achievements of our first twenty five years. I would like to give everyone my best wishes for the future.