The Cypriot government and the Louvre Museum in Paris will hold an exhibition of Cypriot antiquities at the Louvre during Cyprus’s 2012 EU presidency.
The announcement was made by Communications and Works Minister Erato Kozakou-Markoullis yesterday during a meeting between her and Louvre director Henri Loyrette at the Ministry’s offices in Nicosia.
The exhibitions, which will last three to four months, will also serve as a launching pad for a long-term collaboration between Cyprus and France to stage exhibitions, symposia and cultural activities centred on Cypriot art and artefacts.
“The idea is to establish the policy and philosophy of having an extensive relationship with the Louvre,” said Communications Ministry Permanent Secretary Makis Constantinides. “The objective of [Loyrette’s] visit is to acquire contacts with relevant people in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communications and to set the foundation for collaboration between them and the Louvre, so there will be a new horizon opening up for collaboration with France,” he said.
Loyrette confirmed the relationship, saying that during the meeting Cyprus and France “decided to launch a partnership to build, over the years, many other events and collaborations.”
Loyrette also said that Cyprus’s antiquities will be well-represented in the Louvre’s new Byzantine wing.
“We are very happy about this partnership and look forward to developing our relationship with the Louvre Museum, within the framework of the excellent relations between Cyprus and France,” said Kozakou-Markoullis.
“We want to push it further,” she added.
The theme of the first exhibition – Byzantine, medieval, ancient – and other fundamental details will be decided in the next two months, said Constantinides.
Government officials and Louvre directors yesterday also decided to formalise their collaboration through a Framework Corporations Agreement in which the government of Cyprus “has agreed to exchange views and ideas” with the museum and the museum has in turn agreed to hold exhibitions and symposia on Cypriot objects in Paris during and after the initial EU exhibition.
“The exhibition can become the nucleus for a number of activities,” said Constantinides. “During the first exhibition we can expand on that – for the duration of this exhibition we can do symposia and Cypriot cultural days,” he said.
A second major exhibition may be held a year after the 2012 exhibition wraps up.
Cypriot objects will be lent by the Louvre and, the government hopes, from countries all over Europe.
“That is our wish,” said Constantinides. “Definitely from the Louvre there is no problem [in securing objects] but to gather objects from other countries may take time and that is why these exhibitions take a long time to put together,” he said.
Source: Cyprus Mail