The symposium was attended by diplomats and representatives from the embassies of France, Italy, Israel, Romania, Spain and Greece, Members of the Board of Trustees and the Friends of The Cyprus Institute Association, experts, scholars, students and the general public.
Leading scholars from Europe and the USA in the fields of art history, heritage and conservation science including digital cultural heritage, participated in an international symposium held on the 15th of December on CyI premises, to celebrate three years of achievements for The Cyprus Institute’s Andreas Pittas Art Characterization Laboratories (APAC Labs).
For the past three years, APAC Labs researchers have been developing task-specific service protocols related to material characterization and data integration, address issues of provenance, and assess the state of preservation of works of art, archaeological objects and monuments. Training and educational programs offer workshops and seminars to experts and students from both the humanities and the sciences, thus exposing them to interdisciplinary methodologies and approaches. In addition, innovation work pursues novel methodological and instrumentation applications while developing solutions for services and research commercialization.
Symposium participants shared the exciting scientific and technological advances in the study of art and archaeology and addressed key themes, topics and latest approaches in the documentation, analysis and digital representation of art, archaeological and heritage objects. The work of APAC Labs and the Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center (STARC) was presented and a small exhibition provided the opportunity for APAC Labs and STARC researchers to share aspects of their research and instrumentation capacity.
The symposium was addressed by the President of The Cyprus Institute, Prof. Costas Papanicolas, the Executive Chairman of Medochemie and Chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of The Cyprus Institute, Dr. Andreas Pittas, the Director of the Department of Antiquities, Dr. Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou, and His Excellency Deputy Minister of Culture, Dr. Yiannis Toumazis.
Welcoming participants to the symposium, Professor Papanicolas highlighted the significance of the establishment of APAC Labs: “The foundation of APAC Labs through the generous grant of Dr. Andreas Pittas is a milestone for the development of the Cyprus Institute and STARC. His direct engagement and support of the Institute’s research in the interdisciplinary study of the artistic and archaeological heritage of Cyprus highlighted its potential and helped to consolidate our leading expertise in the field”.
In his address, Dr. Pittas welcomed the international participants of the symposium reflecting on his early fascination with “the remains of Cyprus’ rich archaeological and cultural past and in particular by the artistic legacy of the Byzantine and Medieval periods.” He spoke of his gradual engagement with the Cyprus Institute recognizing the “impressive collaborative work in heritage science between STARC and the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF) at the Louvre museum” as well as the very important partnerships with the Department of Antiquities and other local institutions. Dr. Pittas also stated that “over the past years, our APAC labs team has established a world-class laboratory that has gained international recognition.” He referred to highlights of APAC Labs research and education successes. In addition, he pointed to the innovation efforts that led to the development of ARTES, which is a science and technology-based service framework for art, archaeological artifacts and heritage monuments. Dr. Pittas concluded his address by outlining the exciting future APAC Labs and expressing his continuing commitment to its success.
The Director of Antiquities, Dr. Ieronymidou, emphasized that from its first years of operation, the scientific advances of APAC Labs’ “have placed our island in the centre of international scientific developments”. She also underlined the importance of the established collaboration between The Cyprus Institute and the Department of Antiquities which “has produced and still produces invaluable outcomes contributing to the advancement of archaeological research and also to managing our rich cultural heritage.” Dr. Ieronymidou highlighted the collaboration of APAC Labs and STARC with the Department of Antiquities in key areas like the impact of climate change on cultural heritage, the challenges posed by looting and the illicit trafficking of antiquities and mentioned the shared development of the Cyprus Dendrochronology Laboratory. She ended her address by congratulating the Institute but also Dr. Pittas for APAC’s achievements and thanked him for his support in the creation and success of the labs.
His excellency, the Deputy Minister of Culture pointed to the overall important contribution of the Cyprus Institute to research in Cyprus, with a particular reference to the study, protection and dissemination of the island’s cultural heritage. He acknowledged the significance of the direct engagement of Dr. Pittas with the Institute and thanked him for the establishment of APAC Labs and its diverse contributions.
The symposium was attended by Ambassadors, diplomats and representatives from the Embassies of France, Italy, Israel, Romania, Spain and Greece, members of the Board of Trustees and of the Friends of the Institute association, The Cyprus Institute’s President-elect, Dr. Stavros Malas, and experts, scholars, students and the general public.