July 23, 2009, 12:00 - 2:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
The Center for Religious Freedom
held a briefing on
Endangered Cultural and Religious Sites in Cyprus' North
Ms. Michael Jansen,
Dr. Klaus Gallas,
Dr. Charalampos Chotzakoglou
Moderator: The Honorable Donald K. Bandler
U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus, 1999-2002
Thursday, July 23, 2009
12:00 – 2:00 P.M.
(Lunch will be provided)
After intercommunal violence between Cyprus' Greek and Turkish communities erupted in 1963 and culminated with the Turkish occupation of the northern part of the island in 1974, the state of Cyprus' rich architectural, cultural, and religious legacy has been deteriorating. Encompassing a wide historical span of global significance--from prehistory through the classical, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods--various sites in Cyprus have seen extensive looting and destruction. Although international efforts--such as those of USAID--have succeeded in protecting some of this priceless cultural property, implementation of international agreements has remained spotty at best. These challenges will be addressed by an international panel of experts:
Ms. Michael Jansen, Middle East analyst for the Irish Times and the Deccan Herald and a columnist for other publications, has written extensively on the looting and destruction of cultural heritage, focusing on Cyprus and Iraq. She is the author of five books, most recently War and Cultural Heritage: Cyprus after the 1974 Turkish Invasion. Ms. Jansen accompanied the UNESCO mission to Baghdad which, in May 2003, investigated the pillage of the Iraq Museum.
Bandler, Jansen, Chotzakoglou, and Gallas
Dr. Klaus Gallas is a German art and architectural historian and expert on the Byzantine Empire. He is a scholar of the international smuggling of artifacts from northern Cyprus and has written extensively about this topic. Dr. Gallas has managed excavations on Crete, taught the history of architecture at the University of Munich, and directed the recording of buildings on Cyprus. In 2006 he helped produce the documentary Where the Heavens Are Plundered, on the looting of cultural artifacts from northern Cyprus. In 1999-2000 he participated in the "Dialogue of Cultures" project under the patronage of Nelson Mandela.
Dr. Charalampos Chotzakoglou is a professor of Byzantine Art and Architecture at the Hellenic Open University and the Museum of Kykkos Monastery. Dr. Chotzakoglou has participated in excavations in the Mediterranean region, organized international symposia and exhibitions, and published more than fifty monographs and studies in academic journals on Byzantine and post-Byzantine art and architecture and on the history and art of the Greek Diaspora. He is the author of Religious Monuments in Turkish-Occupied Cyprus: Evidence and Acts of Continuous Destruction and has recently completed, in collaboration with the Museum of the Monastery of Kykkos, the registration and documentation of the Christian monuments in the northern part of Cyprus.
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Betsy and Walter Stern Conference Center
1015 15th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
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