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‘Meet the FIVE Face to Face’: Cyprus discovers its identity through its history (pics)

Contemporary Cypriot culture and the historical signature of the past were highlighted by the event ‘Meet the 5 Face to Face’ organised by The Cyprus Institute and the Department of Antiquities, in the presence of the First Lady, Philippa Karsera-Christodoulides, and the Deputy Minister of Culture Michalis Hatzigiannis.

Jewellery, fashion, ceramics, wine, and culinary art, inspired by Cypriot history but with modern aesthetics and for the contemporary palate were presented, showcasing the island's rich cultural heritage through the energising marriage of the modern and the old.

In particular, the ceramic artist Efthimios Symeou, the jewellery designer Yiannos Ioannou, the fashion designer Kika Ioannidou, the oenologist Sofocles Vlassidis and the culinary artist Roddy Damalis presented their work, interlaced with historical theatrical readings of real-life stories from the Chalcolithic, Greco-Roman and medieval period.

Five stories of people who lived in Cyprus in the past were brought to life through creative storytelling, using technology, sound, and image. Five people of yesterday returned to the Cyprus of today, as a result of the detailed scientific analyses of their remains, illuminating aspects of the daily life of our ancestors, in relation to the modern era.

The event took place on Tuesday, 30 May, at the Cyprus Museum and is part of the broader project entitled ‘Face to Face: Meet an Ancient Cypriot,’ led by CyI Assoc. Professor Kirsi Lorentz, which aims to valorise research results for tourist engagement, through their contact with the cultural heritage and history of Cyprus.

The results of the scientific research, within the context of this project, could become an important contribution towards the efforts to upgrade Cyprus tourism product, giving the country a huge competitive advantage and at the same time contributing to the stimulation of the economy.

In his welcoming address, President of The Cyprus Institute, Dr Stavros Malas, highlighted the work of CyI and its researchers, who have the expertise to reproduce even the lives of people of ancient times, and at the same time the ability to turn archaeological findings into an object of curiosity for the public, inducing knowledge acquisition. “The Cyprus Institute will continue to be at the forefront, next to society and the state”, he said.

On behalf of the Director of the Department of Antiquities, Eftychia Zachariou noted that this result is a 4-year effort, which bridges the gap between yesterday and today. This program, she explained, places the life of the ancient Cypriots at the

center, decoding the evidence from their skeletal remains, and thus giving them a voice, so that these can contribute towards the creation of cultural routes and alternative tourism products.

The Deputy Minister of Culture, Michalis Hatzigiannis, spoke about utilising the results of The Cyprus Institute's scientific research in such a creative and successful way. This project, he said, is a manifestation of the creativity of Cypriot culture at its finest. “This project is fuelled by a synergistic and creative energy, which results in the marriage of the ancient and the modern in Cyprus”, he noted.

The project “The Face to Face: Meet an Ancient Cypriot” is funded by the Research Innovation Foundation, and involves academics, researchers as well as social and governmental bodies.

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