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Nicosia Cathedral of St. John - the Theologian at the Focus of Interdisciplinary STARC Research

The cathedral church of Saint John the Theologian in the heart of Nicosia is the subject of a cross-disciplinary research project engaging students and researchers from STARC, the Historical Museum of Crete and the University of Catania in Italy with the collaboration of the Theological School of the Church of Cyprus and the support of the Department of Antiquities and the Cyprus Archbishopric. Building on and enhancing the doctoral research of CyI PhD Candidate Despina Papacharalambous supervised by Assoc. Professor Nikolas Bakirtzis, this research project aims at understanding the history of the monument in conjunction with the iconography of its impressive 18th century decorative program. STARC researchers and technical specialists Dante Abate, Marina Faka, Ropertos Georgiou and Sorin Hermon contribute to this research effort, which benefits from the state-of-the-art instrumentation and unique methodologies developed at STARC. Art historical research is supported by novel methods of 3D documentation, architectural analysis, scientific visualization and 3D simulations for the perception of internal and external space. Furthermore, recent STARC Erasmus student Carla Laurini of the Catania University is preparing her graduation thesis on the development of a Building Information Modeling (BIM) system for understanding the architectural development of the monument.

Preliminary results of this research were recently presented (May 5th, 2017) at the Second Annual Conference for Secondary Education Teachers, co-organized by the Theology School of the Church of Cyprus School and the Ministry of Education and Culture, Department of Secondary Education. The meeting, celebrating 355 years since the foundation of the Cathedral, took place in the beautiful lecture hall of the Theology School of the Church of Cyprus. Following presentations on theological and historical topics related to John the Evangelist, STARC’s research team addressed aspects of the documentation and the interpretation of the wall paintings of the church with the title "New interpretative and technological approaches to the study of the wall painting of the Cathedral of St. John the Theologian".

STARC’s presentation was preceded by a talk from Dr. Athanasios Papageorgiou, Emeritus Director of the Department of Antiquities, who offered an overview of the history, the architecture and the art of the Cathedral complex. The event was concluded with the presentation of Deacon Kyprianos Kountouris on the history of the School of the Church of of St. John. The consequent discussion exemplified how cross-disciplinary research is beneficiary to secondary education, heritage management, conservation studies and theology studies.