The creation of the Kallinikeio Municipal Museum of Athienou was a matter of time for the municipality, a place rich in cultural heritage, whose existence is dated back to the ancient times. The Museum, which is distinguished for its modern architecture, was named after monk Kallinikos Stavrovouniotis, a son and benefactor of Athienou and an excellent icon painter.
The inauguration ceremony of the Museum was held on July 3rd 2009 and performed by the honourable Minister of Communications and Works Mr. Nicos Nicolaides.
The Museum consists of the Archaeological Collection, the Collection of Ecclesiastical Art and the Ethnographic Collection. It is housed in the Kallinikeio Municipal Hall of Athienou along with the municipality of the town.
The aim of the exhibition areas of the Museum is to operate as a centre of communication with the visitors, as a source of knowledge for both adults and children, to bring back memories of the past, to attract tourists and to give people the opportunity to become aware of our local and national history and culture.
The town of Athienou is located in the plain of Mesaoria, between the urban centers of Nicosia and Larnaca. Its history can be characterized over the years as diverse. A milestone of the recent history of the area has been the Turkish invasion of 1974, which established Athienou as a frontier area, since 65% of the town’s territorial boundaries are under illegal Turkish occupation. The town’s population numbers 6000 residents, whereas there are hundreds of people from Athienou who have emigrated mainly to Australia, Great Britain and the USA.
Archaeological excavations in the wider area of Athienou have brought to light ancient findings dated back to the Neolithic Period (8500-3900 B.C.). Ever since the ancient times, the area has been inhabited and developed. As a result, the Municipality is today well-known both for its archaeological and cultural heritage and for its hardworking and progressive residents.
Athienou, a place famous for its traditional professions related to bakery and cheese making, exports products both within Cyprus and abroad.
The younger generations are particularly involved in sports and arts, painting, music, dancing and theatre. The religious tradition of the town is indicated by its four churches and four outdoor chapels standing around it.
The Archaeological Collection of the Museum consists of burial furnishings and dedications, which were mainly found in tombs and sanctuaries respectively at the archaeological sites of “Golgoi”, “Malloura” and “Pampoullari of Koukounninas”, as well as in various locations of the modern town of Athienou. The archaeological findings are from the Late Bronze Age (1600-1050 B.C.) and up to the Hellenistic Period (310-30 B.C.).
The observation and study of the ceramic vessels and the sculptures give the opportunity to the visitor to get to know both the habits and the folkways of each period, as well as the features of handcrafting in Cyprus.
The turbulent background of the archaeological excavations in Athienou has marked, in the same way as it did on the entire island, the knowledge about the past, sometimes with its scientific substantiation and on other occasions with its huge criminal gaps.
Excavations have been carried out in the wider region of Athienou ever since the middle of the 19th century. Thousands of antiquities today adorn Museums and private collections abroad, including the Louvre Museum in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which was inaugurated by displaying the Cypriot collection of the well-known tomb raider Luigi Palma di Cesnola.
Excavations are still carried out at the site of Malloura by the Athienou Archaeological Project (AAP) led by Dr. Michael Toumazou and his team which is formed by many students of American Universities and Colleges. Ever since 1990, the AAP has continued its work aiming to scientifically substantiate the past and gain knowledge about it.
Special and warm thanks are expressed towards the Cyprus Department of Antiquities for its cooperation and assistance.
Collection of Ecclesiastical Art
The largest part of the Museum’s Collection of Ecclesiastical Art was created after the Foundation of Father Kallinikos kindly offered portable icons and personal objects of Father Kallinikos to the Museum.
The collection consists of icons of renaissance and byzantine style which were painted by Father Kallinikos, as well as of icons from his own personal collection.
Also presented in the same room are aspects of his life, as well as the techniques of icon painting which are characterized by the monk’s own personal touch.
The milestones in the life of Father Kallinikos have been his apprenticeship next to Ioannikios Mavropoulos, his three-year long imprisonment during the liberation struggle of EOKA from 1955 until 1959 and his apprenticeship next to icon painter Fotis Kontoglou.
Displayed in this section are works by brothers Georgios and Alkis Kepolas.
The Kepola brothers, sons of Athienou, envisaged the creation of this workshop with us.
This workshop is a place which mostly gives young people the chance for a healthy and creative exploitation of their free time.
The Ethnographic Collection completes a primary effort in describing the identity of Athienou and its past. Exhibits acquired from citizens’ kind donations and from purchases are shedding light both to the daily life of the people of Athienou in the 20th century, as well as to moments of pleasure and formality. A journey of memory and nostalgia for those who have experienced the facts presented and a trek of knowledge and respect for the younger generations constitute “Athienou of the Past and Present”.
The Theme units of the Ethnographic Collection are about entertainment, traditional professions, the history of Athienou as a Municipality, sports life and boy-scouts, educational institutions, as well as the participation of Athienou in national struggles.
Donations of objects which have the ability to “narrate” their own story to the visitors are welcome to enrich the Ethnographic Collection of the Museum.
Each Museum functions as a microcosm which without the participation of children’s spirit would be less optimistic, beautiful and creatively rich. Ever since the first year of its operation, our Museum has maintained its promise to embrace children and the youth by organising creative and pedagogical meetings and activities. School forms, holiday and summer groups participate in programmes specially designed for them, this way gaining unique experiences.
From October 2009 up until June 2010, forms from schools from the districts of Larnaca and Nicosia have visited our Museum. Through pilot programmes, the children got know the three collections exhibited in the Museum, listened to stories and generously offered their creativity and laughter.
Some of the programmes that were conducted during the year 2009-2010 were the following: “Getting to Know the Museum”, “A sweet story”, “In the company of the little pig”.
•THE CHILDREN ARE CREATING AT THE MUSEUM
•ICON PAINTING AND MOSAIC WORKSHOP
Source: Municipality of Athienou
Address: Avenue of Archbishop Makarios III, No. 2, 7600, Athienou, Cyprus
Accreditation: Municipality of Athienou
Hours: Winter Hours Museum: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday after a warning. Closed: Public Holidays
Operating Period: All year
Facilities: The entire museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. Parking is available, there are toilets for people in wheelchair. Brochures in English and Greek. Is guided by a responsible person of the museum. Shop in the museum where the visitor has the opportunity to purchase publications, memorabilia museum copies of George Kepola, documentaries Paschalis Papapetrou, George CD Kalogirou, icons, artwork Athiainites artists as well as jewelry. Only cash payments.
Telephone / Fax: 00357 24524002 and 00357 24811370 / 00357 24522333
Website / Email: www.athienoumuseum.org.cy / firstname.lastname@example.org
Entrance Fee: 2 euros, reduced entrance fee 1 euros
Ticket Fee: Tickets available at the museum entrance
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