OF THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT DR SOPHOCLES SOPHOCLEOUS
The Centre of Natural and Cultural Heritage (CNCH) is a research and educational institution. It celebrated its 10th anniversary on the 14th of December 2000 and its 20th anniversary on the 11th of December 2010 and completes in 2021 its 31st anniversary. Because of COVID restrictions, its 30th anniversary will be celebrated in due time.
I am pleased to use on behalf of our Administrative Council our updated website to review our 31 years of service – a multi-dimensional service covering the areas of research and education in natural and cultural heritage studies; most specifically in the areas of archaeology, history of art, cultural heritage, museum studies, exhibitions, theory and practice of conservation-restoration, natural heritage, restoration of the denatured landscapes, monuments of the Nature, the centuries old trees, and much more. It is worth noting separately three main projects in the framework of which collaborate post-graduate students, they mainly acquire experience in matters of digital management of the natural and cultural heritage:
EIKONOLOGION-ΕΙΚΟΝΟΛΟΓΙΟΝ which constitutes the digital archives of the natural and cultural heritage of Cyprus. It is now an international platform on which academic scholars and university people can upload their own iconographic material. It is a research instrument in the service of the international academic community and the wide public. EIKONOLOGION is also an important instrument for he management of the natural and cultural heritage of Cyprus and offers the opportunity to post-graduate students of UCY and other universities to acquire experience in this area. This project has been sponsored by The Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation, Total Energies Foundation and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
FLORA CYPRIA-ΚΥΠΡΙΑΚΗ ΧΛΩΡΙΣ which is the inventory of the traditional plants of Cyprus and Mediterranean. Its aim is to create the appropriate awareness and sensitiveness to the people of Cyprus and all Mediterraneans in oder to know and use in public and private landscaping these plants and avoid in this way the alteration of the traditional view of our historic centres, the built and natural landscapes by the contemporary invasion of the tropical and sub-tropical plants and not only. This project has been sponsored by The Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation, Total Energies Foundation and the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.
THEOPHRASTOS which is a project for the restoration of the denatured landscapes (study and replanting).
Since 1990 universities and post-graduate students, research centres, local authorities, 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 in order to protect and enhance their natural and cultural heritage. The Centre accepts also university students for internships.
In 2014 our Centre acquired a conference room thanks to the generous grant of TOTAL E&P CYPRUS. In this way CNCH is organising seminars and series of lectures every semester, now realised from distance through internet, due to COVID restrictions.
Our principle is that the results of scientific research must not only be promoted to the academic community, but also to the wider public for the benefit of the society; and this in order to improve popular education, self-understanding and awareness for the national civilisations and ancestral bequeath in order to march in safe within the today’s phenomenon of universalisation that tends to destructure and even the national civilisations, community cultures and languages all over the planet. Every national civilisation developed for millenia in its own geographic area is a jewel of heritage and a cultural beauty and richness to be preserved for the benefit of the global cultural wealth pluralism and for the cultural interaction between all countries and people of the globe.
These 31 years of work and service were made possible rather through the support of private sponsors than of the Cypriot state or the local authorities. I make a particular mention of the role of the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation, Total E&P Cyprus and Total Energies Foundation, they generously support our endeavours and projects on a diachronic basis.
On this occasion I would like to express my deepest thanks to all Members of our Administrative Council, to our Academic Associates and staff. Also, to the benefactors, donors and other supporters, who made possible the achievements of our first 31 years. I especially express our thankfulness to the University of Cyprus and its Rector, Professor Tasos Christofides, as well as the until recently Chairman of the Council, Mr George David, for having initiated our close collaboration with UCY.
I would like to give everyone my best wishes for the future.