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Pope Francis Presented with Replica of Medieval Maronite Cross Created by CyI Researchers

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Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, presents Pope Francis with a replica of a Medieval liturgical Cross from the Maronite church of the Holy Cross in Karpasia, Cyprus

 

At a welcoming meeting for Pope Francis on the occasion of his visit to Cyprus, Dec. 2-4, 2021, he was presented with a gift of a replica of a Medieval liturgical Cross from the Maronite church of the Holy Cross in Karpasia, Cyprus. The gift was presented by Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, at the Maronite Cathedral of our Lady of Graces in Nicosia, at an event attended by bishops, priests and religious figures. Instrumental in coordinating CyI’s involvement in the event was EEWRC Director, Prof. Fadi Comair.

The Cross is part of a ceremonial fan (also known as ripidion), which was made of an alloy of copper and iron and dates back to the late 12th / early 13th centuries. The original object is kept in the Cyprus Medieval Museum in the Limassol Castle. The replica of the Cross is the result of the collaboration between The Cyprus Institute and the Cyprus Department of Antiquities. The creation of a 3D model of the Cross was used for the 3D printing of a mold which was in turn used to create a brass copy of the cross by employing the lost-wax technique.

The coordination of the work was undertaken by the Andreas Pittas Art Characterization Laboratories (APAC Labs) of the Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center (STARC) of The Cyprus Institute, in collaboration with the office of the Director of Research and Technical Support of The Cyprus Institute. CyI researchers and staff that contributed to this work include: Research Technical Specialist, Marina Faka (overall project coordination, data collection and processing) Associate Research Scientist, Dr. Dante Abate (data collection), Associate Research Scientist, Dr. Svetlana Gasanova (data collection), Technical Instrumentation Coordinator, Agapios Agapiou (wax replica printing), Research Assistant, Andriana Nikolaidou (handing design), Associate Professor, Nikolas Bakirtzis (supervision and art history research). Also, the surface of the replica was then aesthetically treated and painted by Dr. Iosif Hadjikyriakos to offer a realistic copy of the original. 

The replica of the cross was first presented to the Maronite Church and community in July 2021.

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Pope Francis examining the replica of the Cross



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Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch paying his respect to the Cross

33-d rendering of the Medieval liturgical Cross from the Maronite church of the Holy Cross in Karpasia, Cyprus

5The replica of the Medieval liturgical Cross presented to the Pope


6Andriana Nikolaidou, Research Assistant in Digital Media/Libraries, and Marina Faka, Research Technical Specialist, preparing the gift to the Pope