Crete and Cyprus at the Crossroads of Civilisations

9 and 10 AUGUST 2014

Ayios Nicolaos, Crete

Download the program here.

Click here to access photos of the event.

The Cyprus Center for Intercultural Studies and the UNESCO Chair of the University of Nicosia co-organized with the cultural society KERAMOS of Kastelli-Fourni and the Municipality of Ayios Nicolaos in Crete, a two-day conference on 9 and 10 August 2014 titled “Crete and Cyprus at the Crossroads of Civilisations.”

On Saturday, 9 August, the opening ceremony was dedicated to the Bishop of Olympos, Anthimos, to honor his sixty years of service to the Orthodox Church. Over five hundred people attended the event including Bishops, other clergymen, academics, primary and secondary school teachers and many people from the surrounding area. In the opening ceremony many of the speakers referred to Bishop Anthimos’s multicultural background as he served the Orthodox Church from various posts such as Belgium, Germany and the United States where he spent most of his life. There was reference to his long service abroad and his continuous efforts to promote tolerance and understanding amongst people of different religions, cultures, race and nationality.

The second day of the conference had an academic emphasis. Presentations were made by Professor Emeritus Theocharis Detorakis on the parallel history of Crete and Cyprus, by Professor Christoforos Charalambakis of the University of Athens on the common characteristics of the Cypriot and Cretan dialects, by the archaeologist Dr. Vassiliki Zografaki Director of the Museum at Neapolis in Crete, on the similarities between ancient Cretan and Cypriot artifacts, and by Dr. Emilios Solomou, Director of the UNESCO Chair at the University of Nicosia who spoke on the cultural/political influences of the various conquerors who ruled Cyprus over the centuries.

The support and participation of the Cyprus Center for Intercultural Studies and the UNESCO Chair is in line with their common objectives of promoting inter-cultural dialogue and understanding amongst peoples; more specifically, this event highlighted the common elements in Cretan and Cypriot history and culture and the influences the islands experienced as a result of the presence of various foreign conquerors in their long and tumultuous histories.