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The final days of Nicosia: The birth and growth of a capital

Amid the new and current art exhibitions, one is nearing its completion this month. Nicosia: The birth and growth of a capital. Byzantine-Medieval period, which has found a home at the Leventis Museum since May is closing on next Sunday.

Since 1989, the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia has been dedicated to the promotion of the history of Nicosia and Cyprus in general. In 2018, the Leventis Museum incorporated its permanent collections into this new venture, rearranging the temporary exhibitions area for this exhibition.

The exhibition showcases the historical course of Nicosia as capital of Cyprus since the 10th century when, according to historical information, Nicosia undertook for the first time the role of the administrative centre of Byzantine Cyprus.

Also visited in the context of the exhibition is the establishment and development of Nicosia as capital of the feudal kingdom of the Lusignans until 1489. Cyprus then became part of the mercantile state of La Serenissima Republic of Venice, with Nicosia as the hub of Venetian rule (1489-1570). The span of the exhibition ends at the year 1570 when Nicosia was taken over by the Ottoman Turks.

The exhibition unfolds along a ‘magical’ historical route that sets out from the entrance to the museum and concludes on the second floor. In the ground floor’s Orientation Room, the public has the opportunity to explore the Medieval monuments of Nicosia within the fabric of the present-day city, by way of a touch screen. The city’s 3D digital model also illustrates the Venetian fortifications and includes a wealth of photographic and information material. The hall is enriched by exhibits of stone architectural parts from Medieval monuments.

The exhibition continues to unfold on the museum’s second floor, highlighting various aspects of Byzantine and Medieval Nicosia. People; Institutions and Legislations; Religious life and Art; Life in the City and at home are the main exhibitory units that make up the historical setting within which the visitor will follow the city’s growth, structures and human activities. Here, one can examine and admire coins, rare books, pictures, tokens of remembrance, household items and other “treasures” of Medieval Nicosia.

For the purposes of the exhibition, the Leventis Museum has borrowed items from State bodies, museums, cultural foundations and private collections including the Turin National University Library, Cyprus Department of Antiquities, Byzantine Museum of Archbishop Makarios III Foundation, Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Pierides Museum-Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Cyprus Folk Art Museum of the Society of Cypriot Studies, Museum of Kykkos Monastery, Demetris Michaelides Collection, Michael Zeipekkis Collection, Andreas Georgiades Collection and Andreas Demetriades Collection.

Nicosia The Birth and Growth of a Capital – Byzantine Medieval Period
Temporary exhibition. Until January 27. The Leventis Municipal Museum, 15-17 Hippocrates Street, Laiki Yitonia, Nicosia. Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-4.30pm. Tel: 22-661475

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