Thirty-six (36) Cypriot antiquities were repatriated from Australia on May 20, which were returned following the kind initiative of Australian citizens who offered to return the antiquities in their possession to Cyprus.

The repatriation of the 36 Cypriot antiquities took place thanks to the coordinated actions of the Australian Authorities, the Australian National University, the University of Sydney and the Cypriot Authorities, a Department of Antiquities press release said on Wednesday.

It is noted that the antiquities in question belong to various chronological periods, from the Bronze Age to the Roman period, and include stone tools, clay and glass vessels, clay lamps, bronze objects and stone sculptures.

In particular, the Director of the Antiquities Department, Dr. Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou, accompanied by the Head of the Anti-Illegal Possession and Trafficking of Antiquities Office of the Police Headquarters, Senior Constable, Michalis Gavrielides, and Conservator Dr. Eleftherios Charalambous received the antiquities in question in Canberra and in Sydney. There, they supervised the packaging procedures of the antiquities, which they accompanied to the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia on May 20, 2023. The antiquities will be preserved and entered in the digital database of the Department of Antiquities.

During her visit to Australia, the Director of the Department of Antiquities was invited to give lectures on various topics, such as the role and work of the Department of Antiquities, but also on the measures taken to combat the theft and illegal trafficking of cultural heritage.

The Department of Antiquities, as the competent Department of the Republic of Cyprus for the protection and management of the cultural heritage of Cyprus, the press release adds, “will continue its intensive efforts to strengthen the protection of cultural heritage and promote the repatriation of cultural goods to their place of origin.”

“In this direction, the cooperation of all the competent authorities, both at national and international level, is considered to be of the utmost importance. Cultural property is an invaluable and irreplaceable part of the heritage, not only locally but also internationally, for humanity as a whole,” it concludes.

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