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  issue 1, year XII, 2005


THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE OF
THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS PEFKIOS
GEORGIADES
“ENLARGEMENT SHOULD BE VIEWED AS PROMOTING
THE TRAVELING OF LOCAL CULTURE
ABROAD.”
   Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova          page 4
   “The main feature regarding cooperation in the cultural field is the promotion of mutual acquaintance with the cultural and artistic achievements of our two countries’ people. A joint contribution to culture from the private and public sectors ensures higher quality culture and professionalism in the selection of what to support and patron in the cultural market. Creating a Common European Culture does not mean abandoning traditional cultural features. Enlargement should be viewed as promoting the traveling of local culture abroad.”

Mr Andreas Ignatiou, Charge d’affaires
a.i. of the Embassy of the Republic of
Cyprus, to the magazine “Europe 2001”
“The differences between nations do not
hinder their common future”
Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova          page 6
   “I have been in Bulgaria for nearly a year and half already. It is very easy to see that there is a process of development here, given the building of new blocks of flats, of residential quarters, as well as the development of the land as a whole. A considerable development is also noticeable in the numerous tourist resorts countrywide. I would like to point out as a negative element in this sector the different prices given for Bulgarian and foreign citizens in the tourist resorts, in the hotels, the dual price-lists in the restaurants - all these things that definitely do not correspond to the European legislation. Everybody knows as well that the struggle against organized crime in Bulgaria should continue until its total elimination. I wish to call to mind that after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 the Bulgarian state was one of the first to welcome and give jobs to Cypriot citizens. What’s more, there are nearly 700 Cypriot students studying at Bulgarian universities. They are the second biggest community of foreign students in Bulgaria. The number of Cypriot tourists visiting Bulgaria has been increasing constantly in the last 2-3 years. On a diplomatic level, I would like to mention the resumption of the agreement regarding maritime commercial shipping between Cyprus and Bulgaria, the signing of the agreement here, in Sofia, a couple of days ago and the signing last month of the protocol for sports exchange between the two countries.”

THE PRIORITIES OF THE 2005 LUXEMBOURG
PRESIDENCY OF THE EU
   HE Henriette van Lynden
Ambassador of the Netherlands          page 9


Membership of the European Union,
or Bulgaria’s New Hope
   Nickolai Kolev          page 11
   The choice and following of the policy line for the integration of Bulgaria in the European Union (EU) are among the few national questions in the period 1990-2004 on which the opinion of the political elite and of society coincides. The results from the opinion polls show a stable high support by the country’s population for the acquisition process. The expectations that the number of those in favour might lessen during the negotiation process were not justified, as occurred in the newly joined countries in the summer of 2004. According to the results of the “MBMD Research” survey carried out in November 2004, seven out of every ten adults of the country (71%) approve the integration. One tenth of the population (11%) answered that they are not interested in this process.

The “A. G. Leventis” Foundation
A Field of Charity
            page 14
   The 25th anniversary of the establishment of the “A. G. Leventis” Foundation was celebrated in 2004. Its founder is Anastasios Leventis. Born in Cyprus in 1902, he became the owner of one of the biggest companies in Western Africa. The range and directions of the foundation’s activities are linked with the charity undertaken by its founder. In Cyprus, Greece and other countries in Europe the focus falls on culture and education, with a considerable emphasis on Cyprus’ cultural heritage. An International Programme for support of the Greek sciences has been launched, covering all historical periods, together with efforts for studying and improving the presentation of Cypriot antiques in foreign museums. In Western Africa the Foundation has already financed the foundation of five agricultural schools for young farmers in Nigeria and Ghana. It has recently spread its activity to the Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania. The aim of the Programme is the restoration of ancient buildings and collections from the Greek colonies along the Black Sea coast and the Byzantine heritage in the region. The protection of the environment is a leading priority of the Foundation, with programmes in Western Africa and Cyprus aimed at the most pressing problems. Medical research, disease control and pain relief are also priorities, as well as the various charitable causes in Cyprus.

Cyprus and the European Union
   Agop Garabedian         page 17
   By joining the European Union (EU), Cyprus has not only become a full member of the large family of European peoples, but has also created the most favourable opportunities for the solution of its political problem. Analyzers are unanimous that with the turning of the Cyprus question into a European-Turkish problem, Turkey will no longer be able to hold its maximalistic policy towards the island country unpunished. The more so, as for Ankara the European direction is becoming a priority and is of great importance for Turkish national interests. A Turkey inside the EU would much more readily accept a viable solution that would restore the territorial unity of Cyprus and would definitely guarantee the interests of the Turkish community as well.

Bulgaria-Cyprus diplomatic relations
   Svetla Kostova, Iliana Paskova         page 19
   The changes in Bulgaria since 1989 have opened considerable opportunities for widening cooperation between Bulgaria and Cyprus in the field of economics. Trade and economic relations are developing actively. On the part of Cyprus, there is an interest in investing in a number of branches in Bulgaria. Over 30 Cypriot companies are working in Bulgaria, while in Cyprus there are firms registered with Bulgarian participation. In the last several years the following documents have been signed: a trade agreement, a contract for cooperation in the field of tourism, an agreement for cooperation in the field of post and telecommunications, a protocol for cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries. On 1 November 2000 an Agreement was signed to avoid dual taxation on the incomes and property of citizens from the two countries. Relations between Bulgaria and Cyprus have been steadily developing in a spirit of friendship and cooperation ever since their establishment on 30 October 1960. The good, friendly relations between the two countries are built on the basis of mutual benefit, cooperation and trust. There are no disputable problems or contradictions between Bulgaria and Cyprus.

The Collection of the “Kostas and Rita
Severis” Foundation
From the journey in the Orient to the
journey to the “other” beyond the
“green line”
   Zdravka Mihailova         page 22
   In 2003, within the framework of the Programme for Greek-Cypriot cultural cooperation and in connection with the then imminent inclusion of the island country in the European Union, the Ministries of Culture of both Greece and Cyprus organized the presentation of the collection of the “Rita and Kostas Severis” Foundation in the Byzantine Museums in Athens and Thessaloniki, shown in two exhibitions under the title: “Artists/Travellers Who Visited Cyprus in the Period 1700-1960”. The focus of the exhibition fell on the perception and impressions that nearly 120 artists took away with them from the island, which they visited in the period 1700-1960, i.e. during Ottoman rule and English colonial domination.

Cyprus: Dare to relax
   Cyprus Tourism Organisation      page 26
   Fortunately, there is a legendary corner of calm on the horizon that has what it takes to make your soul sing: Cyprus. Our island home is fringed with beaches, studded with olive groves and mountain vineyards and kissed all year long by the sun. The quiet crossroads of three continents, it has welcomed visitors of all ages from near and not-so-near for thousands of years. Cyprus is a fascinating destination that stirs the senses in countless ways great and small. An ancient theatre clinging to a seaside cliff (Kourion), a monastery managed by cats (St. Nicholas), a string of golden beaches along the island: Dare to discover all the myriad treasures that Cyprus has to offer. The traditions of Cyprus, whether culinary or cultural (or both, as is often the case), are compelling indeed. But we also invite you to recharge your batteries in a world-class thalassotherapy spa, dine like a prince in a five-star resort or party like it’s, well, 2005 in glittering seaside cities like Lemesos, Pafos and Larnaka. Here, treasures of antiquity coexist with a modern, forward-thinking culture that surprises only by its sophistication. Whether you choose to relax simply or in high style, the options are almost endless. Meeting the challenges of the future is something of a tradition in Cyprus too, one that has given the country one of the highest standards of living in Europe.

Famagusta - sunk in the sand
   Zdravka Mihailova      page 29
   Today the Venetian walls of Famagusta do not encircle anything except the silhouettes of Gothic churches against the background of palm trees and fishing boats turned upside down. Famagusta resembles an architectural equivalent of a once well-cared-for indoor plant, gone back to the state of its initial seed among the surrounding jungle. The Greek name of the town is “Amohostos”, which means “sunk in the sand”. And although the battle turrets and the deep harbour have protected the town from sinking during its centuries-long history, the sand amasses dunes in the north, while the nearby small island of Maimoun Adasu (Monkey Island) is actually made of quicksand. The climate is almost subtropical. The sea constantly erodes both metal and stone. Owing to these known facts there were no grounds for the town to hold out hopes of glory and a brilliant future. However, for a short time during the 13th century Famagusta was the richest town in the world, possessing a sufficiently romantic aura for the great playwright William Shakespeare to choose it as part of the scenery for his tragedy “Othello”.

Nicosia
   Nickie Marangou       page 34
   Nicosia, Hristoforos used to say, is full of tension on account of the “green line”. Those who are from this side of the line crave to go to the opposite side, while those on the other side wish to come over here. All this charges the town with turbulent passions. The town is closer to Istanbul and Thessaloniki and has nothing to do with Athens. The dividing line divides the town down the middle, right across the commercial street Ermou. Endless rows of narrow, oblong, small shops for glassware, plates, cups, toys, a waterfall of colours. There are a number of splendid ancient churches with extremely beautiful icons in the old town. A characteristic feature of Cypriot icons is the fact that the donor who ordered the painting of the icon is portrayed on them. When at the beginning of the 20th century Nicosia grew so much that new houses could not be squeezed any more within the fortress walls, the first quarters outside the walls were built. These were beautiful neoclassical buildings or colonial-style houses set amidst spacious gardens. They are the most beautiful quarters of Nicosia and have luckily been preserved to the present day.

The Monasteries and Churches of Cyprus
   Monuments in UNESCO’s World Heritage List       page 39
   The churches of Cyprus have managed, despite the vicissitudes of fate, to keep their independence and safeguard the elevated awareness among Cypriots of their Greek identity. They have given impetus to the development of important activities in all spheres of culture. Despite the fact that the island has been occupied many times, the churches have maintained a high cultural level - particularly in the field of architecture, painting, mosaics, all with a central theme: the religious trend. The technique developed in Cyprus is associated with the classical Greco-Roman tradition with its principal characteristics - idealism, joy and beauty. It corresponds mainly with the inner world and symbolism, with the superiority of the visible and the ascension to God.

A Fairy Tale about Panormitis and
the Gold Fish
(The sixteenth wonder of the monastery)
   Tsvetanka Elenkova   page 42
   

Archimandrite Gavrilii, Father Superior of Panormitis
Monastery:
“Love of God starts with love of Man”
   Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova   page 44
   “The unity of Christians is an expectation and a dream for us all. It was this unity that Christ was seeking from God in his last prayer before his sufferings. The division and crumbling are an act of the devil and of the human passions, which are instigated by him. But in order to accomplish the long-desired union, we should turn back to the reality of the Church in the first eight centuries, to the decision of the seven ecumenical councils about the truthfulness of the holy tradition and the pure faith. The mistakes, and how they started, should be realized, the secular authority adopted by some churches should be rejected, an end should be put to such phenomena as the Unitarians, and an honest dialogue of love and peace should be brought about.”

Aphrodite Kyprida and her Faces
   Dragomira Vulcheva      page 45
   Europe has got at least two things from ancient Cyprus - the cult to Aphrodite and the Latin name of the metal copper /cuprum/. The main material resource of Cyprus was the rich copper beds that have guaranteed the island its status as the most significant exporter of copper in ancient times. The reproduction of the individual and the production of copper, biological necessity and economic power achieved happy harmony together, and thus Aphrodite Kyprida was born. Aphrodite emerged from the waves near the ancient town of Paphos along the Western Cypriot coast. It is said that this has happened near the “Rock of the Greek” (“Petra tou Romiu” in Greek), which can be seen to this day. The natural caves of the Akamas peninsula, where the favourite bath of the goddess was, can also be visited by happy tourists today. Lovers of ruins will not pass by the restored remnants of the famous sanctuary of Aphrodite, whose earliest layers date back to the 12th century. Owing to its antiquity and its riches, the temple in Paphos has been one of the best-known religious centres in the Greco-Roman world. The sanctuary existed from the late bronze era right up to the year 391, when Emperor Theodosius I forbade the spread of pagan cults.

The Mosaics in Paphos: Colourful Pieces of Living Mythology
   Zdravka Mihailova      page 47
   It is no wonder that the centuries-long history of Cyprus has given the island an amazingly rich cultural heritage. Its significance is honoured by merit by UNESCO, which has included nine Byzantine churches, as well as the entire town of Kato Paphos, Palepaphos and the neolithic settlement of Hyrokithia in the World Heritage List. Among the many other valuables are the mosaics in the Homes of Dionysus, Aeolus, Orpheus and Theseus, that have reached us almost untouched despite the sixteen centuries during which they have remained buried under the ground. They were found by accident in 1962 by a farmer who had been tilling his field. The Cypriot and Polish archaeological expeditions that followed unearthed a complex of Roman buildings decorated with extraordinary floors, estimated by experts as the most beautiful floors in the Eastern Mediterranean. Nowhere else had the richness and luxury of Paphos from the era of the Roman Empire been better revealed than in these beautifully decorated floors.

The Ionites and the Templars: Traces
in Cyprus’ History
   Violeta Velikova - Kosheleva      page 50
   

Under the Peaks of Dospat
   Roumen Stoichkov      page 52
   Today the town of Dospat with its 2,800 inhabitants is the centre of a municipality that comprises the villages of Zmeitza, Breshten, Zruncha, Chavdar, Barutin, Ljubcha, Kasuka. The population of the municipality is 12,500 people. Migration is low. Growing potatoes is the only way they earn their living in the severe climate, where winter reigns for half the year. Hopes rest on the natural beauty, as well as on the development of programmes aimed at encouraging investment. The attraction could be Trigrad and Trigrad gorge; 15 km away, Yagodine cave; 12 km away, the town of Devin with its famous balneo-curative springs. There is definitely hope, but it also rests on the recent opening of the borderpost Gotse Delchev-Drama, on private initiative and on the opportunity for young people to be offered jobs here so that they do not go outside the municipality, but serve the future tourist flow. Some of these tourists will certainly be impressed by the fishing farm “Dospat”. 3-4 million fish are bred there each season and about 80 tons of fatted trout, called “the Rainbow American” after its origin, emerge from its depths.

Cypriot Folk Handicrafts
         page 55

Lefkara lace, Phyti fabrics, Cypriot
woodcarvings, basket-weaving.

photoAtelier presents:
d-r Rosen kolarov
         page 57
   

Litart presents the Cypriot poets:

Kostas Montis
         page 61
   He was born in 1914 in the town of Famagusta. Graduated in law in Athens. He is the author of 30 collections of poems (published between 1934 and 1996), of five collections of short stories and of the novel “Master Batista and the Rest”. Holder of a number of awards in Cyprus, Greece and around the world, as well as of the title “Poet Laureate”, given to him by the “World Academy of Arts”. In 1997 Montis received the title “Doctor Honoris Causa” from the Faculty of Philosophy at the Cypriot University. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1999. The poet Kostas Montis died on 2 March 2004.

Nasa Patapiou
         page 62
   She was born in Rizokarpaso, near Famagusta. Graduated from the “Aristotle” University in Thessaloniki, specializing in Byzantine and neo-Greek philology. Nasa Patapiou is the author of the collection of poems “Voice Body” (1988) and was awarded first state prize for poetry by the Ministry of Education of Cyprus in 1988. Her poems have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian, Hindi, etc.

Mihalis Pieris
         page 63
   Poet, essayist and critic, Mihalis Pieris was born in Cyprus in 1952. He studied literature and theatre in Thessaloniki and Sydney. He has published several books and essays on Cypriot medieval literature and modern Greek poetry. He is the author of eight collections of poems. Mihalis Pieris translates ancient Greek drama as well as European and Australian poetry. His poems have been published in the main European languages, while his book “Metamorphoses of the Cities” was published in Russia in 2002. Mihalis Pieris lives in Nicosia and teaches at the Cypriot University.

Litart presents the Turkish poet:

Husein Mevsim
         page 64
   He was born on 7 July 1964 in the village of Kozlevo, Kurdjali region, into a family of tobacco growers. At the end of 1991 he settled in Istanbul, where he works in the field of tourism and translation. He is the author of the collection of poems “A Window Ajar”. In 2002 he defended an MA dissertation on enichari songs in Bulgarian folklore. Presently, Husein Mevsim is Assistant to the Chair of Bulgarian Language and Literature in the Faculty of Language, History and Geography at Ankara University. He translates from Bulgarian, Turkish and Russian.

Atelier presents:

The Applied Artist Vera Ilieva
   Dochka Kisiova-Gogova      page 67
   In the works of Vera Ilieva one can find the search of a young author in the direction of modern understanding about artistic fabric. She was born in Chiprovtsi, a cradle of weaving traditions, where she learnt about artistic textile. Since 1998 the artist has worked together with the centre for child activities and the association “Spiritual Mirror” on a joint programme with the Chiprovtsi municipality and heads a circle on textile (carpet-weaving). Gradually this circle has grown into a school of textile, which moved to Sofia in 2003 and is seated at the “Krasno Selo” House of Culture.

The Artist Andrei Yanev
   Aksinia Djurova      page 65
   “The Balkan artist Andrei Yanev draws his inspiration from the legends, music and rhythm of his homeland, which are deeply interwoven in his sub-conscience”. This is the title of an article, published in the August-September 2004 issue of the journal “International Artist” on the occasion of his presentation as a painter from the Balkans and Bulgaria, as a representative of the Balkan way of thinking and characteristic expressiveness. This selection, made as a result of a four-year observation by experts from all over the world, was not accidental. It is the result of both the characteristic features of his style and the way in which Andrei Yanev rationalizes time, the tradition in which he has grown up and offers his message about the future. Having received a solid education at the drawing school in Kazanluk, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia (under Prof. Mito Ganovski) and at the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg (under Prof. Talastchuk), Andrei Yanev entered the artistic life of Bulgaria early, quickly established himself there and emerged on to the world arts arena.

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