Newsroom / CNA
Thirty-six (36) Cypriot antiquities were successfully repatriated from Australia on May 20, thanks to the generous initiative of Australian citizens who voluntarily returned the antiquities in their possession to Cyprus.
According to a press release from the Department of Antiquities, the repatriation process was made possible through the coordinated efforts of the Australian Authorities, the Australian National University, the University of Sydney, and the Cypriot Authorities.
The repatriated antiquities encompass a range of historical periods, spanning from the Bronze Age to the Roman era. They include various artifacts such as stone tools, clay and glass vessels, clay lamps, bronze objects, and stone sculptures.
Dr. Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou, the Director of the Antiquities Department, along with Senior Constable Michalis Gavrielides from the Anti-Illegal Possession and Trafficking of Antiquities Office of the Police Headquarters, and Conservator Dr. Eleftherios Charalambous, personally received the antiquities in Canberra and Sydney. They supervised the meticulous packaging procedures before accompanying the artifacts to the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia on May 20, 2023. The antiquities will be preserved and documented in the digital database of the Department of Antiquities.
During her visit to Australia, the Director of the Department of Antiquities was invited to deliver lectures on various topics, including the role and work of the Department of Antiquities and the measures taken to combat theft and illegal trafficking of cultural heritage.
The press release emphasizes that the Department of Antiquities, as the responsible authority for the protection and management of Cyprus' cultural heritage, will continue its dedicated efforts to strengthen heritage protection and promote the repatriation of cultural artifacts to their rightful origins.
It emphasizes the paramount importance of cooperation among all relevant national and international authorities in safeguarding cultural property, which is an invaluable and irreplaceable part of the heritage, not only locally but also for humanity as a whole.