Cyprus recently recovered 38 of its antiquities. The Department of Antiquities of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, has announced that on the 11th November 2021, 38 antiquities belonging to various prehistoric and historic periods, were handed over to the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington, USA, by Katherine Grayson Wilkins, who voluntarily offered to return the antiquities to Cyprus.
"The repatriation of antiquities and the prevention and combatting of looting and illicit trafficking of cultural goods is extremely high on the Department’s priorities."
The Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington, Marios Lysiotis, warmly thanked Grayson Wilkins for delivering the antiquities, which had been in the possession of her late husband Fraser Bryan Wilkins (President of the Board of Trustees of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute-CAARI from 2015 to 2021) and previously were in the collection of his father, the late Fraser Wilkins (the first ambassador of the USA to the Republic of Cyprus, 1960−1964).
The Department of Antiquities expressed its warmest appreciation to Grayson Wilkins for making the commendable decision to hand over the antiquities, as well as for her excellent collaboration over the past few months. Special thanks were also expressed to the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute-CAARI and especially its Director, Dr. Lindy Crewe for her vital role in the handing over of the objects and for her ongoing assistance on many levels.
The Department said that the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus through Ambassador, Marios Lysiotis, provided excellent assistance on the matter and his contribution was and continues to be essential.
The Department of Antiquities said it will continue its efforts for the repatriation of antiquities.
"The repatriation of antiquities and the prevention and combatting of looting and illicit trafficking of cultural goods is extremely high on the Department’s priorities. Within this framework, collaboration and coordination with other authorities, the National Committee for the Prevention of Looting and Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Heritage, as well as with the wider public, are considered to be of vital importance," the department noted.