Its founders are the late Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos I (1927-2007) and the late President of the Republic Spyros Kyprianou (1932-2002).
The Chairman of the Board of the Foundation is Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II. The Cultural Centre is housed in a building at the heart of old Nicosia, in the forecourt of St John’s Cathedral, next to Holy Archbishopric.
It comprises the Byzantine Museum, the Art Gallery, the Library, the Office for Cyprus History and the Ceremony Hall. Publications are among the most important activities of the Foundation.
1. The Byzantine Museum
The Byzantine Museum is the home of the richest and most representative collections of Byzantine Art-Works originating from every part of Cyprus. It presents more than three hundred icons, dating between the 9th and the 20th century, frescoes detached from church walls from the 10th to the 18th century, as well as representative samples of Byzantine Minor-Art of Cyprus, such as holy relics, holy vessels and sacerdotal vestments.
A prominent place in the Museum is held by the repatriated fragments of the 6th century AD mosaics of the apse of Panagia Kanakaria at Lythrangomi and fragments of the frescoes dating to the 15th-16th century from the Antiphonites Church at Kalogrea, as well as icons from various occupied churches which were regained following Court battles or donations from abroad and which attest to the brutal destruction of Cyprus’ cultural heritage by Turkish illicit dealers in antiquities in the part of the island occupied by Turkish troops.
The visitor of the Byzantine Museum has the opportunity to pass through the last one thousand and five hundred years of Cyprus history, through the art of the Early-Christian period (4th to 7th century), the period of the Arab incursions (7th to 10th century), the Middle Byzantine period (10th to 12th century), the Frankish rule (1191-1478), the Venetian rule (1498-1571), the Ottoman rule (1571-1878) and the British rule (1878-1960).
Educational programmes for Elementary School pupils are organised in the Museum and also temporary exhibitions with emphasis on Byzantine art and on the protection of cultural heritage in the occupied part of the island.
2. The Art Gallery
The Art Gallery hosts in two floors a unique exhibition of representative works from Western Europe, from the Renaissance to the modern times and works of art from modern Greece and Cyprus.
The collection is divided into four sections:
a) Paintings with religious and mythological subjects, as well as portraits and landscapes of western European painting (15th to 19th century).
The collection belonged to Nicos Dikaios, a collector who was Cyprus’ consul in Lyon, France, and was bought in 1963 by the late Ethnarch Makarios III. It covers a wide range of European artistic creation from the late Renaissance up to Romanticism with works attributed to Sebastiano del Piombo, Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin and Jean-August Ingres.
b) Western European paintings, engravings and maps having Greece of the 18th and the 19th century as their subject matter, with special emphasis on the Greek War of Independence of 1821. These works also come from the collection of Nicos Dikaios and their style belongs to the art currents of Romanticism and Neoclassicism.
Western European artists found in the Greek War of Independence a source of inspiration, expressing their emotions for the drama and the struggle of Greeks for freedom, while later on they were inspired by the greatness of the Antiquity and the ideals of the newly found Greek state. The maps, drawings and engravings made by Western European visitors move in the same climate. It should be noted that the paintings of the Lyon School, with Pierre Bonirote, as its main representative, as well as works attributed to Theodore Gericaud and Eugene Delacroix stand out among these paintings.
c) Paintings by Greek artists (19th-20th century).
The collection presents the art movement in the young state of Greece through the various historic events, a movement dominated by the Munich School of art during the 19th century, the artists of the generation of the 1930’s which mature with the Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922 and modern painting which introduces and in the 1950’s establishes Abstraction, a trend which led art in Greece move in tandem with the international avant-guarde.. The works of Theodoros Rallis, Nicolaos Xydas, Spyros Papalouka, Giorgos Bouzianis, Constantinos Parthenis, Nicos Hadjikyriacos- Gikas, George Vakalo and others stand out in this respect.
d) Paintings of Cypriot artists (20th century).
The collection comprises some of the best works of modern Cypriot artistic creation. The works are characterized by the plurality of artistic quests, as the artists follow the global artistic movements of their era. An outstanding place in the collection is held by the works of Ioannis Kissonergis, Telemachos Kanthos, Adamantios Diamantis, Michael Kashialos, Pol Georgiou, Christoforos Savva, Lefteris Economou, Stelios Votsis, Stas Paraskos and others.
3. The Library
The Library is the second big section of the Archbishop Makarios III foundation which houses the book collections of Phaneromeni, the Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus, the Cultural Centre of the Foundation, the personal collections of the late Archbishops Makarios III and Chrysostomos I (they will be available in the near future), the Society of Cypriot Studies and the personal collection of Costas M.Proussis.
The well-known Phaneromeni Library has a noteworthy Cyprological section and a rich section with Cypriot newspapers published since 1879, while it also includes a significant number of classical and Byzantine studies and scientific magazines on history, religion and literature, like Analecta Bollandiana, Byzantinische Zeitschrisf, Byzantion, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Orientalia Christiana Periodica, Apostle Barnabas, Cypriot Studies, etc. Furthermore it has complete series of ancient writers of the classical antiquity. The Library of the Holy Archbishopric boasts a number of old editions, while the Library of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation specializes in modern Cyprus history and the Arts.
In all, the Library comprises about 60,000 volumes of books and magazines and provides services to about 1000 researchers every year. It is not a lending Library, but it offers services to readers allowing them to make a limited number of photocopies. Its electronic data base is regularly updated and is accessible on the internet both from the website of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation and from the Cyprus Libraries Union Catalog of the University of Cyprus. It should be noted that the personal archives of Rodion Georgiades, Costas M. Proussis and George Ioannides as well as part of the important photographic archive of Felix Yiaxis are kept at the Library of the Foundation.
Source: Cultural Center of Archbishop Makarios III Foundation
Address: Archbishop Kyprianou Square, PO Box 21269, 1505 Nicosia, Cyprus
Accreditation: Cultural Center of Archbishop Makarios III Foundation
Facilities: The museum is accessible for people in wheelchairs with a ramp at the entrance of the Museum and Lift to each floor. There is a shop where visitors have the opportunity to buy products mainly books, museum guides, cards, slides, dvd, etc. Soon we will operate the new shop where a wide variety of souvenirs and memorabilia. There is limited parking in front of the entrance. There is a municipal parking lot near St Barnabas Road, north of the Cultural Centre. There are restrooms. These transactions are in cash and by credit card. The Credit card is accepted in Accounting Foundation. There is a form – general guide to the Byzantine Museum in Greek and English at a cost of 10 euros. The audio guides, rented for 2 euros and is available in six languages: Greek, English, French, German, Italian and Russian. They are special rates for visiting teams totals more than 10 people the ticket reduced from 4 euros which is the normal to 2 euros. There is a tour of the Museum staff for groups who request such as students, soldiers, pensioners can be guided on request made in advance.
Operating Period: All year except public holidays and Sundays
Hours: Cultural Center Monday-Friday: 07:30-14:30, Byzantine Museum: Monday-Friday: 9:00 to 16:30, Saturday 09:00-13:00, Art Gallery: Monday-Friday: 09:00 13:00 / 14:00 to 16:30, Library: Monday-Friday: 8:00 to 16:00, Saturday 9:00 to 12:30
Telephone / Fax: 00357-22430008 / 00357-22430667
Website / Email: www.makariosfoundation.org.cy/ email@example.com
Ticket Price: 4 euros (reduced ticket: € 2 for pensioners and special teams)
Ticket Fee: At the entrance
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