A major exhibition of Cyprus antiquities will hosted by the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, the national archaeological museum of the Netherlands, located in Leiden, from October 11 to March 15.
The ambitious project, Cyprus: A Dynamic Island, hosts over 400 archaeological masterpieces from national collections in Cyprus and abroad.
The first major exhibition on the archaeology of Cyprus to be shown in the Netherlands, it tells the remarkable story of an island with over 12,000 years of history and culture.
“Cyprus was one of the most important hubs of ancient cultures in the Mediterranean. You can see approximately 400 objects, including 300 archaeological masterpieces from the national collections of Cyprus. Standing in the galleries are man-sized sculptures and portrait statues fashioned in marble and terracotta, imaginative pottery decorated with faces and animal figures, luxury imports from the ancient Near East and Egypt, large bronze cauldrons and weapons, colourful mosaics, gold jewellery, and a royal throne inlaid with silver,” the museum says on its website.
A dynamic island
Thanks to its strategic location, the island has been at the centre of ties and trade between different cultures in the eastern and western Mediterranean for thousands of years. That led to constant movements of people and exchanges of goods. The resulting fusion of cultural influences is the central focus in the exhibition. Part of the exhibition will dwell on remarkable historical figures and archaeological excavations on Cyprus since the nineteenth century – also taking in present-day illegal digs and the trade in antiquities. Artistic photographs of the island’s scenery on the walls and subtly moving projections will provide the atmospheric setting for the story of this fascinating island.
The exhibition Cyprus: A Dynamic Island and the accompanying book were prepared in close partnership with the Department of Antiquities in Cyprus (Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works) and the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia, and with the support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation; the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in the Netherlands; Cyprus Ministry of Tourism; Press and Information Office, Republic of Cyprus; the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund; Labrys Reizen; the Cultural Heritage Agency (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science); and the Society of Corporate Friends of the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities.
The National Museum of Antiquities is supported by the BankGiro Lottery.
During the exhibition Cyprus, the museum will be open seven days a week from 10.00 to 17.00.