***The opening of the exhibition “Rebirth” initially scheduled for March 14 has been postponed until further notice due to the latest Coronavirus measures announced by the council of ministers***
The public will be able to view 219 works of art returned to the Greek-Cypriot community in September as a confidence-building measure in an exhibition at the State Gallery of Contemporary Art – SPEL that will be open from March 14 to April 30, 2020.
The art was returned by the Turkish-Cypriot community after a period of 46 years. Correspondingly, as part of the agreed confidence-building measure, the Greek-Cypriot community returned audio and visual archives of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC), from the pre-1963 period, which are related to the history of the Turkish Cypriot community.
The artworks, including emblematic works of Greek Cypriot and Greek artists from the first decades of the 20th century until the early 1970s, had remained in the northern part of the island after 1974. They were later found in various homes and public places and were safeguarded by Turkish Cypriots.
Sixty-seven of these works, together with audiovisual material, were recently presented for two days at Ledra Palace in Nicosia, for a limited number of visitors, under the auspices of the United Nations at a special ceremony, in the presence of the two leaders, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Cyprus and Head of UNFICYP, members of the Technical Committee, diplomats, artists and their families.
Subsequently, the works were officially handed over to the Republic of Cyprus, which undertook, via the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, to present them to the general public. At the same time, the process of returning the works to the rightful beneficiaries is being activated through a special committee appointed by the Council of Ministers.
The exhibition at SPEL entitled “REBIRTH”, which will be divided into sections depending on the speculated or confirmed origin of the works (e.g. Municipal Gallery of Famagusta), brings to light iconic works of historical Greek Cypriot artists such as George Pol. Georgiou, Giorgos Skotinos, Stelios Votsis, Christoforos Savva, Andreas Charalambides, Michael Kashialos, Ioannis Kisssonergis, Nikos Nikolaides, Rea Bailey, Adamantios Diamantis, Telemachos Kanthos and others. Works by prominent Greek artists such as Ioannis Tsarouchis, Ioannis Moralis, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, Giorgos Gounaropoulos, Fotis Kontoglou and others, are also on display.
The exhibition is organized by the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth and is curated by Yiannis Toumazis, art historian/theorist and Co-Vice President of the Technical Committee for Culture, who has conducted the relevant research, completing the initial process of identifying the works.
The exhibition will be inaugurated on Saturday, 14 March 2020, 19:00, by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth, Mr Prodromos Prodromou, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades.
During the exhibition an information-collection point will be operating for the public, with the view to further assist the research on the history of the artworks. Various events such as presentations, talks and educational programmes will also be announced.
STATE GALLERY OF CONTEMPORARY ART – SPEL
73 Ammochostou Street, 1016 Nicosia
Saturday, 14 March 2020, 19:00hrs
14 March – 30 April 2020
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00-18:00, Saturday 11:00-20:00 (closed on public holidays)
Information: Tel.: 22479600, Facebook / Instagram: spelstategallery
Pictured: Detail from the work of George Pol. Georgiou “The Rebirth of Cyprus” (1960), oil on plywood, 180×90 cm. Provenance: Artist’s workshop, Famagusta.