For this International Museums Day talk, hear about the campaign against the illicit trade of cultural heritage in Cyprus.
On Thursday, 18 May, at 1 pm: Hear Dr Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou and Michalis Gavrielides in conversation about the experience in Cyprus on cultural heritage repatriation and protections.
The Chau Chak Wing Museum has a strong connection with the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, with a significant collection of Cypriot antiquities and strong archaeological excavation affiliations for decades, including the Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project. Cyprus provides an excellent example of how nations attempt to reclaim their cultural heritage and prosecute the case for the return of looted antiquities and arts. This conversation by two leading Cypriot authorities in the campaign against the illicit trade of cultural heritage promises to be thought-provoking and provide a counterpoint to current discussions about the repatriation of cultural material to Australia.
The event will feature short presentations by the Director of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, Dr Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou and the Head of the Office for Combating Illegal Possession and Trafficking of Antiquities (Cyprus Police), Michalis Gavrielides. Dr Solomidou-Ieronymidou and Gavrielides will then complete a Q&A session on how the Department of Antiquities and the Police Office for Combating Illegal Possession and Trafficking of Antiquities have been involved in the successful campaign for the return of looted cultural heritage to Cyprus, particularly items taken from the occupied north since 1974, where it is estimated more than 16 000 items have been stolen and sold abroad.
They will discuss the creation of Cyprus’ National Committee for Combating Looting and Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Heritage in 2015; the diplomatic, legal, regulatory, and policing initiatives implemented by the Republic of Cyprus to halt illegal trafficking of cultural heritage, and the historical framework of looting in Cyprus. They will also present examples of the recent successful repatriation of looted material to the museums and churches of Cyprus and lead a discussion on future actions to protect Cyprus’ stolen cultural heritage.
18 May is International Museums Day.
About the speakers
Dr Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou has been the Director of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus since 2014. She graduated from Sorbonne University (Paris IV) in 1980 in Archaeology and Art History. In 2001 she received her PhD with honours in Medieval Archaeology from Sorbonne University (Paris I). Since 1994 she has directed excavations of the medieval sugar mills of Episkopi-Serayia and Kolossi. She is a member of the Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO member and the Cypriot Society of Byzantine Studies member. She has participated in many scientific seminars, fora, radio and television programmes in Cyprus and abroad promoting Cypriot archaeology. She is the author of more than 40 scientific publications on Cypriot archaeology. She is an expert in the protection of cultural heritage and sits on many European and international organisations.
Mr Michalis Gavrielides is the Chief Inspector of the Police Office for Combating Illegal Possession and Trafficking of Antiquities for the Republic of Cyprus based at Cyprus Police Headquarters. He is widely recognised for this work by the international policing community. He has presented at many international conferences on preventing the illegal trafficking of cultural heritage.
Date and time
Thu, 18 May 2023, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM AEST
Chau Chak Wing Museum University Place Camperdown, NSW 200