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China’s Culture Deputy Minister Li Xiaojie (right) and Cyprus’ Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos
 
The Global Times reports on 30 October 2013 that China and Cyprus have signed a protection of cultural property agreement –
 
Cyprus and China signed here Tuesday a bilateral agreement for the prevention of the theft, the clandestine excavation and illicit import and export of cultural property between the two countries. Chinese Deputy Culture Minister Li Xiaojie and Cypriot Communications and Works Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments. The agreement tells the ways of strengthening cooperation between the two countries in relation to the prevention of the theft, clandestine excavation and illicit import and export of cultural property, like the exchange of information, relevant legislation and good practices.
 
Mitsopoulos said after the signing ceremony this is a very important moment for Cyprus. He noted that Cyprus has suffered serious damage from illicit transport and the smuggling of its antiquities.
 
More here.
 
 
Reconstructed circular structures at Choirokoitia, Cyprus
Source Wikimedia Commons. Image credit Ophelia2  
 
 
Nine thousand years ago you lived here
in little round houses surrounded by little narrow alleyways
connecting each of your homes one to another.
Alleyways no wider
than the outstretched arms of a modern man.
 
But then you stood no taller
than one of our children of ten years or so stands now
and lived no longer than our middle years.
It was a time before the thought
of clay pots had even crossed your minds.
 
You ate as well as we however
perhaps even better.
Pistachios, figs, olives and prunes.
Deer, sheep, goats and pigs.
 
Unpackaged and unpaid for
taken from the hills all around you.
Water from your streams
fish from your rivers and from the sea.
 
Choirokoitia, Choirokoitia
people of Choirokoitia.
I walk along your ancient pathways
and peer through your ancient windows and doorways.
What am I looking for?
 
Simplicity perhaps.
No doubt your loves and losses were as rich and as sad as ours
but at least you knew one another
walking from house to house
through field and wood
laughing and arguing
living life to the full.
 
Nine thousand years on no-one knows anyone anymore.
You would not like it here people of Choirokoitia.
The sound of your rivers and steams have gone.
The sea supports a flotsam of rubbish you could never imagine.
 
Gone is the quietness that you knew.
Gone now your harmony with the changing of the year.
Gone too your finger upon the pulse of life
and your upturned hands when life lies cold.
 
Choirokoitia, Choirokoitia
people of Choirokoitia.
If I could travel back to be with you I would.
I would happily forfeit half my life to walk with you
picking olives and figs along the way
listening to the far-off sounds of the sea
and the mountain streams as they tumble and fall
around your village of little round houses
and little narrow alleyways.
 
LS
 
 
Choirokoitia is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site.
 
 
 
Mother Goddess statuette from Cyprus, circa 1,500bce

Terracotta, height 13cm width 6cm approx
Private collection Great Britain
 
 
 

 

Conservation of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste fresco in Famagusta, Cyprus. Produced, directed, and narrated by Dan Frodsham
©
Dan Frodsham

The World Monuments Fund reports on the conservation of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste fresco in Famagusta, Cyprus –

For five hundred years, an exquisite Renaissance fresco depicting the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste has remained hidden, forgotten, and neglected on the wall of a fourteenth-century church in Famagusta, Cyprus. The Forty charts the painstaking work of rescuing the fresco from obscurity and ruin, as part of a pioneering project that puts heritage above politics to begin, after decades of neglect, the work of saving Famagusta’s forgotten frescos.

Full feature here.

 

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