Cyprus is the eastern island in the Mediterranean. Because of this location, through the centuries, it was a bridge between the cultures of Europe and East. During 4000 b.d, the first immigrants coming from Minor Asia, immigrated to Cyprus, and brought to the island the rural civilization. The remains of Chirokitia village are classified in this period. The village people were using jugs made of stone and living in houses with mud walls. Afterwards they started using ceramic plates made of argilio. A lot of the foundings of that period were decorated with beautiful painted designs.

During the 13th century-from this century, the period of copper begins-Cyprus trade was rapidly expanded into many countries. Also at that time Cyprus was a spiritual center after it came across with different Aegean civilizations. At that time the village Engomi was the most important center of sea-trade, and was controlled by the Achaean Greeks.

Concerning the arts, Cyprus was completely independent from Greece; it was more influenced by the East countries. There are no remains from public buildings, except from the Kingdom in Bouni(5th century b.d), which is far away from the Greek architecture standards. Common characteristics of all the ancient temples is the big inner yard surrounded with other smaller yards and small rooms.

Sculpture came up for first time at the 7th century b.d. At the beginning somebody can observe Assyrian influence and then Egyptian. Afterwards the influence of the Greek art is obvious, where the subjects were taken from real life incidents.

The pictures below show beautiful historic foundings, from different periods in Cyprus history. All of them can be found in Nicosia Archaeological Museum.



The Awards for Excellence in Letters and Arts constitute an institution established in 1993 on the initiative of the Ministry of Education and Culture, with the aim of morally rewarding, recognizing and acknowledging the intellectual and artistic activity of Cypriot creators. It is the gift in return, the expression of gratitude to those who have toiled and continue to toil for the cultivation of letters and arts.

Holders of the Awards for Excellence constitute the most respected body of Cypriot creators. The aim of the Ministry of Education and Culture is that all the leading creators, all those who have devoted themselves to the service of culture, who have reached the top of the ladder of intellectual creation, should gradually be honored and admitted to this body.

President Clerides made the presentation at a brief and simple ceremony at Casteliotissa Hall on January 5th, 1995.

"The duty of paying honour has brought us here today," he said. "The state is awarding fitting commendation and is rewarding with the highest state distinction: Excellence in Letters and the Arts, three leading creators: Costas Montis, George Philippou Pierides and Costas Ioannides. It is rewarding their contribution of many years, their intellectual presence and their contribution to the cultural "arming" of this country which, over the above political scheming, also faces threats and dangers directed against its national identity and its cultural heritage. With their intellectual creation they convey the message that Cypriot Hellenism will continue to create and to serve the beautiful and the good."

In her address, Minister or Education and Culture Claire Angelidou outlined the personality and work of the three guests of honour.