Cyprus Mail

More Cypriot antiquities to be repatriated in next three months

Artist's impression of the new museum

More Cypriot antiquities are expected to be repatriated from European and third countries within the next three months, the Director of the Department of Antiquities, Dr Marina Solomidou – Ieronymidou, said after the recent repatriation of approximately 80 antiquities from the USA.

Referring to the 80 antiquities recently repatriated from the US, the director said that they “cover a wide chronological spectrum of Cypriot archaeology” and that they are “safely kept in the Cyprus Museum”.

Speaking to CNA about the possibility of exhibiting them to the public, Ieronymidou noted that the antiquities will be thoroughly examined and then it will be decided on a case-by-case basis whether and which of them can be exhibited.

Asked by about how the specific antiquities ended up in the US, the Director of the Antiquities Department explained that some of them had been handed over by the competent US authorities to the Embassy of Cyprus in the US, while others came from private individuals, whom she particularly thanks for their decision to return these antiquities to Cyprus.

She also spoke of a “coordinated effort by the Department of Antiquities and the National Commission to suppress looting and illegal trafficking of cultural heritage” in cooperation with the competent US authorities, which produced good results.

Ieronymidou added that the agreement between Cyprus and the US on restrictive measures regarding the importation of cultural goods contributed greatly to the repatriation process of the 80 antiquities. This agreement, as she explained, has been in force since 2002 and is renewed every 5 years.

Replying to a question by CNA, she said that “possibly” there are also antiquities hailing from the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus.

Ieronymidou stated that there is a plan for the repatriation of other antiquities soon.

Specifically, as she said, Cypriot antiquities are expected to be repatriated from European and third countries within the next three months. “We are trying to repatriate as many antiquities as we can”, she underlined.

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