Themed retrospectives – A museum for Nicosia

Themed retrospectives – A museum for Nicosia

The ‘Themed retrospectives – A museum for Nicosia’ are an essential part of the programme for the 30th anniversary of the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia, along with the temporary exhibition Pentadaktylos – Impressions. A series of four special exhibitions/presentations will explore the very inception of the vision that preceded the creation of the Museum whilst focussing on people and organisations that have played a determining role in its establishment and the putting together of its Collections. Significant acquisitions that have come to the Museum on different occasions, as well as the donors and collectors who have contributed to the enrichment of the Collections, during its 30-year span will also be highlighted.

First themed retrospective:
Like a Phoenix from the Ashes: Mansions of Nicosia Converted into a Museum

17 April 2019 – 8 September 2019

The old mansions housing the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia are part of the architectural heritage of Cyprus. Built in the late 19th century in the Trypiotis quarter, in the heart of Nicosia within the walls, they offer excellent examples of urban architecture, which were initially homes to famous families and personalities of Nicosia. In the 1980s the mayor of Nicosia, Lellos Demetriades, saved the buildings from demolition. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, they were reborn and turned into the city’s civic history museum, standing as a fulcrum of culture on the island.

Second themed retrospective:
From Vision to Implementation: Lellos Demetriades – Constantine Leventis

17 April 2019 – 8 September 2019

The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia was founded on the initiative of the mayor of Nicosia, Lellos Demetriades, in the wider context of revitalising the city within the walls. Constantine Leventis, the first Chairman of the A. G. Leventis Foundation, embraced the vision for the creation of a civic history museum, funding the purchase of the Neoclassical building which used to be the clinic of Dr Themistocles Dervis, mayor of the city, to host the history museum of Nicosia. The Municipal Council was unanimous in its decision to name the fledgling museum the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia. On 20 April 1989 the Museum, the first of its kind in Cyprus, opened. Two years later, in 1991, it was presented with the European Museum of the Year Award. Lellos Demetriades and Constantine Leventis were not only visionaries and founders; they also donated exhibits of note to the Museum. Their contribution was the cornerstone for the creation of the first Collections of the Museum.

Third themed retrospective:
Collections from the Past to the Future: The Association of Friends and the First Donations

17 September 2019 – 10 November 2019

On 20 April 1985, four years before the Museum opened its doors to the public, the Association of the Friends of the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia was established. The aim was, and still is, to operate as a link between the public and the Museum. Moral and tangible support, enrichment of the Museum’s Collections, public awareness about the Museum and organising events fall to this day within the Association’s broader objectives and activities. From as early as the first days of its operation, the Association inspired people to embrace the idea of creating a civic history museum for Nicosia. For the past 30 years the Association’s contribution has been immense. Of note is its first big donation, a purchase of 29 medieval vessels. Also of crucial importance was the donation of personal collections to the Museum by founding members of the Association. In 2018 the Association was amended to include the A. G. Leventis Gallery and was renamed the Association of the Friends of the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia and the A. G. Leventis Gallery.

Fourth themed retrospective:
Collectors – Lenders

3 December 2019 – 31 January 2020

There can be only but a few people who during their lifetime do not passionately devote themselves to putting together a collection of some kind or another. Among these collectors, several decided at some point to grant the collection they had so eagerly created to a museum in the form of a donation or loan. From the start, the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia has embraced the donation of such private collections and collector’s items to enrich its exhibition units. Among the illustrious examples of long-term loans to the Museum are the Leto and Costakis Severis Collection and the Chris Phylactou Collection, both of which have enriched the Museum with unique specimens of ancient Cypriot art. Also, a significant number of items from the Michael Zeipekkis Collection have served to document the Caterina Cornaro Gallery. Furthermore, items on long-term loan from the collection of the ever-memorable and fervent supporter of the Museum Constantinos Emilianides have contributed to the presentation of historical sections in the Museum.

30th anniversary programme sponsors: A. G. Leventis Foundation, Nicosia Municipality
‘Themed retrospectives’ and Pentadaktylos – Impressions sponsor: ExxonMobil
Media sponsor: SuperAd
Supported by: The Association of the Friends of the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia and the A. G. Leventis Gallery