Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said the recently established department of antiquities will make tireless efforts to ensure that Cyprus’ ancient historical relics remain safe and preserved for future generations by digitising them.

Speaking during the annual International Conference on Digitisation of Cultural Heritage, Karousos called the digitisation of culture an important tool for the management of the country’s heritage and a safety net in case antiquities are lost or destroyed.

“Digitisation can also prevent the physical decay of records, ensuring that information and wisdom are safe for future generations,” he added.

The department’s aim is to digitise 96,000 antiquities in its database, which are kept at the Cyprus museum in Nicosia, as well as other relics preserved in other archaeological museums across the island.

Karousosos added that the digitisation of antiquities will allow easier access and manipulation of data in daily tasks and will further promote research.

“It will be an important way of protecting our cultural heritage, an important tool in the ongoing fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural goods, and will have a significant contribution to the creation of the new Cyprus museum,” he said.

The transport minister added that the effort to protect, preserve and promote our cultural heritage is not an easy one, for various political and economic reasons, but said that “it is best achieved through digitisation.”

The International Conference on Digitisation of Cultural Heritage, at its ninth edition, will run until November11.