The Cypriot printmaker Hambis Tsangaris was awarded the European Cultural Heritage Award (Europa Nostra Awards 2023), which was accompanied by an unveiling ceremony of the Europa Nostra plaque at the Hambis Municipal Museum of Printmaking, in Nicosia. The event took place on Wednesday.

Addressing the honoured artist, the Mayor of Nicosia, Constantinos Yiorkadjis, spoke of a “fair distinction” for the artist and his work. He also noted that Hambis Tsangaris managed to change the map of printmaking in Cyprus, pointing out that through his rich work he showed his deep love for Cyprus.

“We share the vision of bringing the art of printmaking closer to the world,” said the Mayor of Nicosia, stressing that it was important to integrate the course of Hambis into the cultural route of Nicosia and strengthen the city’s position as the capital of culture for Cyprus.

In her address, the Representative of the European Commission in Cyprus, Myrto Zambarta, emphasized that the award of Hambis Tsangaris “underlines his enormous contribution to the protection of the Cypriot cultural heritage, with the promotion and continuation of printmaking in Cyprus.”

“In Hambis’s artistic philosophy, Cyprus has a rich cultural heritage that contributes to the diversity of the common European culture,” she noted.

In her address, General Secretary of Europa Nostra, Sneska Mihailovic, pointed out that Hambis Tsangaris is “a true champion of cultural heritage in Cyprus, an exceptional artist, craftsman, storyteller and above all an exceptionally generous and inspiring human being.”

Furthermore, Mihailovic announced the decision of Europa Nostra together with the Nicosia Municipality to establish a Europa Nostra Heritage Hub in Nicosia with the Leventis Foundation, the University of Cyprus and the Cyprus Institute as founding partners. “We can shape a brighter tomorrow for Cyprus and Europe and our neighbourhood in the Mediterranean and the Middle East,” she underlined.

On her part, the Vice-President of Europa Nostra, Androula Vasiliou, analysed the reasoning behind her proposal for the nomination of the artist, noting that Hambis is a great artist and that through his works he contributes to the preservation of the Cypriot folk tradition.

Referring to the European Heritage Awards, Vasiliou said that this year 225 applications were submitted from 35 countries and 30 applications from 21 countries were selected. “The decision to award Hambis was unanimous,” she emphasised, describing the honoured artist as an honest, sensitive and talented Cypriot.

In his address, Hambis Tsangaris, after thanking those who presented him with the award, noted that he did everything that he created to express himself and promote Cyprus. “My work is specific and has been put forward. Whether it receives awards or not, its value remains the same,” he pointed out.

“I took a clear stance in support of what is good and what is right. I promote the peaceful coexistence of the communities of Cyprus,” he noted, expressing his opposition “to the forces of evil that have brought us to this point of calamity.”

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