Researchers from STARC (the Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Centre) of the Cyprus Institute have created a replica of a mediaeval metal cross of the Maronite Church of the Holy Cross in the Karpas.

The cross, a replica of the end of the 12th beginning of the 13th century copper and iron original, was presented to Maronite Archbishop Youssef Soueif by Transport Minister Yiannos Karousos earlier this week.

The original cross came into the possession of the antiquities department in 1966 which exhibited it in mediaeval museum of Cyprus at Limassol castle.

The department commissioned the Cyprus Institute to make the replica using the lost-wax casting technique. The project also involved ageing oxidation and intervention with natural metal oxide colourings so as to convey to the greatest degree possible an authentic representation of the surface of the origin.

The Cyprus Institute said that the aim of the methodology used was to produce a copy that is representative of the original in the most realistic way aesthetically and also in terms of colour, weight and touch.

The work was coordinated on behalf of the Cyprus Institute by Marina Faka of the Andreas Pittas art characterisation laboratories (APAC Labs) of STARC in cooperation with the office of the head of research and technical support of the Cyprus Institute Dr Vasilis Tsakalos.

The other members of the group were Dr Dante Abate, Dr Svetlana Gasanova and Agapios Agapiou while Dr Iosif Hadjikyriakos, who was in charge of the artistic supervision of the metal copy and the company A. Evangelides & Sons Ltd who created the metal copy, made a significant contribution to the effort, the Cyprus Institute concluded.