Lina Mendoni concluded her official visit to Cyprus with a meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Cyprus Anita Demetriou and visits to the Achna camp, the Cultural Centre of the Municipality of Famagusta and Agia Napa, in a very warm atmosphere of cooperation. The Speaker of the Parliament expressed to Lina Mendoni her satisfaction for the cooperation between the two countries in cultural matters and the unreserved support of the Cyprus Parliament for the cultural cooperation between the two countries, inside and outside Cyprus. Lina Mendoni referred to the appropriate holistic approach to culture and to the important possibilities and opportunities for close cooperation with significant results for both countries.

Afterwards, the Minister of Culture and Sports and the Deputy Minister of Culture, Yannis Toumazis, visited the community of Achna, where the re-enactment of the refugee camp is taking place, in the framework of an educational programme for children of the fifth and sixth grade of primary school. In an interactive way, the living conditions of the refugees after the Turkish invasion of 1974 are revived. More than 80,000 people took refuge in the Achna camp, seeking protection and help. Afterwards, Lina Mendoni and Yannis Toumazis went to the Cultural Centre of the Municipality of Famagusta, in Deryneia, where they met with the Mayor of Deryneia, Andros Karagiannis, and the Mayor of Famagusta, Simos Ioannou, who showed them the ghost town from the balcony of the Centre.

In Ayia Napa, Lina Mendoni and Yannis Toumazis toured the Municipal Museum “Thalassa”, which also hosts an art exhibition of Cypriot and Greek artists from the Famagusta Municipal Gallery, accompanied by the Mayor of Ayia Napa Christos Zannetou and the Mayor of Famagusta. They then visited the Sculpture Park and the Medieval Monastery in Ayia Napa, where restoration works are underway. At the end of her visit, Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni said:

“I would like to thank my friend Yannis Toumazis, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Cyprus, for the invitation to visit Cyprus. The Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Cyprus are walking together in the field of culture. President Anastasiades’ decision to establish, for the first time, a Deputy Ministry of Culture is an extremely important political initiative. This is an undeniable recognition of the very important contribution of culture to the sustainable development of Cyprus. Already, in a wide-ranging meeting, in the presence of our partners, we have created the road map for our future actions, both in the field of cultural heritage and in contemporary cultural creation. Greece and Cyprus have all the potential and conditions to create a cultural identity, in which our common cultural identity is highlighted, while at the same time creating conditions so that what is internationally recognized, culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable development, can be put into practice here as well.”

Yannis Toumazis, Deputy Minister of Culture, said the following: “Here, among these wonderful works of art belonging to the Famagusta Municipal Gallery, I would like to welcome, once again, the Minister of Culture of Greece, Lina Mendoni, and to thank her warmly for her visit to Cyprus. She is the first Minister of Culture to visit the newly established Deputy Ministry of Culture and this has its own symbolism. During these two days we had an excellent cooperation with the Minister of Culture and her colleagues, activating a dynamic exchange of views and plans between the two sides as the cooperation between Greece and Cyprus is self-evident. We have set many goals so that both Cyprus and Greece can be active in the cultural area of the South-Eastern Mediterranean. We believe that both cultural heritage and contemporary culture, through a process of creative coupling, can play an important role. They can become a springboard for the further active presence of the countries not only in the wider region, but also in Cyprus and Greece”.

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