Museum of Cyprus (Cyprus Archaeological Museum)
Cyprus, Nikosia City

The Museum of Cyprus or the Cyprus Archaeological Museum is located in Nicosia. It presents a collection of the most valuable artifacts of the Neolithic era and the beginning of the Byzantine period. The museum was founded in 1882 at the request of the inhabitants of Cyprus to the government of England, of which Cyprus was a colony at that time. Illegal archaeological excavations on the island and the export of valuable finds became the motive. The museum was housed in one of the government buildings and was funded by donations. In 1889, the exposition moved to the premises on Victoria Street, and in 1908 the construction of the Museum building began. The museum was built in neoclassical style according to the project of architect Nikolaos Balanos, according to which the facade of the building was decorated in the form of an ancient temple. The Museum acquired its current appearance in 1935, having undergone several reconstructions and rebuildings. Currently, the Museum of Cyprus consists of 14 exhibition halls located around the central building, which houses an office, library, shop and restoration workshop. The first hall is dedicated to the Neolithic era, it presents jewelry, household items, dishes, tools. The second and third rooms are dedicated to ceramics: the early Bronze Age - the second room and the middle and late Bronze Age - the third room. In the fourth hall, clay figures and figurines from the excavation site of the sanctuary of St. Irina are exhibited, some of them are human figures that were brought to the temple as their clay image, to always be protected by God. An exhibition of the fifth hall introduces the history and chronology of the development of sculpture in Cyprus. Most of the statues are made of limestone or clay. In the center of the hall is a valuable relic - a statue of Aphrodite from Salt. The sixth hall presents marble and bronze sculptures of the Roman period. The most famous are the bronze statue of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus from Chitria, the bronze head of a young man from Salt and the marble sculpture of Eros from Paphos. Bronze weapons, utensils, figurines, seals, faience amulets, coins and jewelry can be seen in the seventh hall. The eighth and ninth halls are dedicated to the burial ritual: tombs, sarcophagi and tombstones. The tenth room contains an exposition telling about the development of writing in Cyprus. Finds from the royal tombs of Salamis are exhibited in the eleventh hall, the twelfth hall is devoted to the history of the development of ancient metallurgy. In the thirteenth hall are marble sculptures found during excavations of the Roman gymnasium and theater in Salamis. And finally, the fourteenth hall is represented by an exposition of clay figures made in Cyprus. The collection of the Museum is constantly growing, significantly exceeding the capabilities of the exhibition premises of the building. Some of the artifacts are stored in storage, some are exhibited in other museums in Cyprus.