Saturday, 4 April 2015

Museum review: the Centre of Visual Arts and Research, South Nicosia – "a permanent platform for Cyprus’ multi-cultural heritage”

A day at the races in Cyprus. Photo by Muhsin Mustafa

By Muhsin Mustafa

During my last holiday in Cyprus, I had the opportunity to visit the Centre of Visual Arts & Research (CVAR) – a wonderful new museum in South Nicosia. I went a few days after the grand opening of the Centre of Visual Arts & Research (CVAR) by Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

Located on Ermou Street, within the historic walls of Old Nicosia, it is a 10-minute walk from the Turkish side via Lokmacı border gate.

The headquarters of the Costas and Rita Severis Foundation, this non-profit organisation provides a permanent platform for Cyprus’ multi-cultural heritage. It comprises of a 4-storey exhibition area, research centre, conference hall, café, with roof terrace and gift shop.

The building was originally an Ottoman Han (inn) that was converted into a flour mill in 1953, then restored and re-opened as an exhibition centre in 2014.

CVAR has a mixture of displays to represent the history, life and colourful culture of Cyprus: the Ottomans, British and Cypriots are all represented and the exhibit information panels are written in Turkish, English and Greek.

As you move up a sloping walkway, you rediscover Cypriot costumes, art and craft from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. There are a plethora of posters, objects and costumes from Cyprus’ past, along with more than 1,000 paintings on display. Explore the historic sets including a British Officer’s study, the Whirling Dervishes of Cyprus and peer into an old Cypriot home.

There is access to archives with photographs and documents on Cyprus. CVAR also houses a library with over 5,000 books available, and hosts a wide range of activities to promote peaceful co-existence.

From CVAR's unique location, visitors can also admire the tiled roofs, palm trees, and countless churches, mosques and monuments of old Nicosia.

I was very impressed with this museum and I strongly recommend to everyone connected with Cyprus to visit and see for themselves.

Entrance: €5
Address: 385 Ermou Street, 1017, South Nicosia.


Ships, Clocks and Stars exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, 29 Nov. 2014 

Go visit the Museum of London, 21 Apr. 2014

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