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Spokesman says Cyprus continues struggle to recover cultural heritage
2006-01-10 10:01:42

Nicosia, Jan 10 (CNA) - Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has assured that ''Cyprus will not give up its struggle to protect and recover its cultural heritage.''

Speaking at the presentation of Michael Jansen's Book ''War and Cultural Heritage: Cyprus after the 1974 Turkish Invasion,'' Chrysostomides said that President Tassos Papadopoulos ''is determined to exert all necessary efforts and mobilise all available means for this cause,'' adding that ''all the appropriate agencies of the government are engaged in this campaign.''

Jansen's book was recently published by the Minnesota University in the US, under the auspices of professor Theofanis Stavrou.

In remarks at the presentation of her book, Jansen suggested that ''Cyprus should launch its own campaign to recover post-1974 loot.''

''The first step would be to publicize the refusal of Germany to hand over the hoard in Munich of hundreds of Cypriot artifacts seized in 1997 by the city's police in raids on Dikmen's on home and offices. It is a crime that eight years have gone by without the repatriation of these pieces. As a result of the delay, both Dikmen and Turkey, as the occupying power, have laid claim to the collection which includes artifacts which are well documented as belonging to Cyprus,'' Jansen said.

Speaking at the presentation, Stavrou said that ''if Cyprus is to acquire a voice, or at least not lose its voice in the world beyond the Hellenic space, it is crucially important that in as systematic a way as possible, it become part of the agenda and the dialogues going on at major universities.''

''All the ideas that in one way or another have influenced the world in a decisive way during the last four hundred years have emanated from universities around the globe. You simply cannot have a voice that can be heard and perpetuated through the decades and centuries without a university forum,'' he pointed out.

Stavrou noted that ''despite sporadic efforts and some impressive successes, Cyprus has not as yet managed to acquire a distinguished forum outside the Hellenic space, which can in a natural and on an ongoing basis promote research and dissemination of scholarly information on issues of vital concern.''

He added that ''we need to develop a more systematic and sustainable cultural diplomacy, a complex and demanding process to be sure and one that feeds into the general field of the policy of enlightenment, but I would argue that investment in this endeavor will yield greater results than many realize.''

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