Athienou municipality announced that it has obtained 3D scans of artefacts located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from which they will create replicas of antiquities stolen from the area during the 19th century.
The replicas will be put on display at the Kallinikeio Municipal Museum in Athienou.
The municipality said in a written statement that efforts to secure the 3D scans of two ancient artefacts stolen in the area of Golgoi has been successful.
The items concerned are a pediment that shows two sphinxes, one opposite the other, from which the logo of the Municipality of Athienou was inspired, and a representation that depicts an ancient goddess “which is equally important for the Municipality of Athienou.”
The artefacts had been stolen from the area and donated to the museum by the US Consul Luigi Palma di Cesnola during his tenure in Cyprus between 1865 and 1877. Cesnola was notorious for travelling all over the island and stealing antiquities, many of which formed the basis for the founding of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The municipality thanked Nicos Charalambous of NCC Geotechnical, who covered half of the amount requested by the Metropolitan Museum to produce the 3D scans. It said the museum requested a significant amount of money.
After the municipality receives the scans, it will have the replicas of the two artefacts made and put on display at the municipal museum.
The municipality of Athienou expressed its warm thanks to the head of the archaeology mission of the Davidson College in North Carolina, archaeologist Michalis Toumazou for his support and help as well as his associate, deputy director of the university’s multidisciplinary programme Dr Derek B. Counts.
Toumazou has been carrying archaeological excavations in the area of Malloura in Athienou since 1990. Athienou mayor Kyriakos Kareklas had appealed to US ambassador Judith Garber for help over the matter earlier in the month during her visit to the archaeological team from Davidson College who have been excavating at the Malloura site every year since 1990.
Kareklas had handed Garber a letter, a copy of which he sent to the Metropolitan Museum asking that the village be allowed to make 3D scans of the replicas.
He said that the ambassador promised to do everything she could to meet their request, despite the fact that the museum is privately-owned.