Geographically, Cyprus is at a crossroads of civilisations and a bridge between cultures.
Cyprus has been conquered by many powers at various periods and has managed to assimilate various cultural influences. Its geographic and strategic position has turned it into an example and prototype of harmonious coexistence of different cultures. Dispersed throughout its territory are historic and religious monuments of varying styles, themes and philosophies.
As an EU member-state, this advantage contributes to the promotion of principles on which the European ideals are based, that is, the peaceful coexistence, cooperation, respect for diversity and the seeking of a convergence of ideas.
In 1975, Cyprus ratified the UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, undertaking a shared responsibility with other member states to protect World Heritage sites. Cyprus was also one of the first members to achieve the inclusion of monuments and sites on the World Heritage List.
You may find below the sites and monuments that have been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List:
1980 – The archaeological sites of Palaipafos
1985 – Nine byzantine churches at Troodos mountain (Panagia tis Asinou, Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, Panagia toy Arakos, Monastery of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis, Panagia tou Moutoulla, Church of Timios Stavros, Church of Archangelos Michail, Timios Stavros tou Agiasmati and Church of Panagia tis Podithou)
1998 – The site of Choirokitia
2002 – The church of the transfiguration of the Saviour
Nowadays, great importance is attached to the promotion of culture with emphasis on the promotion of literature, music, dance (modern and classical), the visual arts, cinema and theatre. In addition, a special arts festival, the “Kypria”, is organised annually and hosts artists and ensembles of international acclaim from Cyprus, Greece and many other countries.
There are also a number of museums including the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia which is the largest archaeological museum. The museums contain exhibits representing the history of the island and include ceramics, sculpture, metal objects, jewellery, tomb groups, Byzantine icons, as well as objects of traditional arts and crafts.
Furthermore, the State Gallery houses on a permanent basis the State Collection of Contemporary Cyprus Art, while it periodically hosts important exhibitions from abroad as well as retrospective exhibitions of the pioneers of the Cyprus visual arts.
Additionally, the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture organise exhibitions of contemporary Cypriot artists both in Cyprus and abroad as well as exhibitions within the framework of cultural exchanges with other countries or in collaboration with overseas museums and art institutions. They also arrange or support the participation of Cypriot artists in large international exhibitions.