The Cyprus Institute’s (CyI) Andreas Pittas Art Characterization Laboratories (APAC Labs) were inaugurated by H.E. the President of the Republic, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday, April 12, 2018, at a ceremony held at the premises of Τhe Cyprus Institute in Athalassa Campus. Τhe Minister of Education and Culture, members of the scientific community of Cyprus and abroad, political and state officials, dignitaries, and Trustees of The Cyprus Institute were in attendance.
The establishment of APAC Labs was made possible by the generous support of Dr. Andreas Pittas, whose donation of half a million euros will be used to acquire the necessary infrastructure for carrying out research in art history, archeology and cultural heritage by the application of advanced analytical and digital methods. In addition, a “visiting scholars program” will be instituted to offer scholarships to senior and junior art historians or art characterization experts. The program will significantly enrich the research activities, innovative spirit and intellectual life at CyI and Cyprus.
Professor Costas Papanicolas, President of The Cyprus Institute, Dr. Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou, Director of the Department of Antiquities, Professor Thilo Rehren, Director of CyI's Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center (STARC), and Dr. Andreas Pittas, Chairman of the Executive Committee of CyI’s Board of Trustees, also gave brief talks at the inauguration.
Speaking at the inauguration, the President of the Republic congratulated The Cyprus Institute for this achievement and said that “the creation of this laboratory is another important milestone in a series of successes for The Cyprus Institute over the years, successes that I have personally followed and which the government of Cyprus has firmly supported. The Cyprus Institute is recognized as a Center of Excellence for Cyprus and the region, and the establishment of these laboratories will further enhance and promote this position”.
In his address, Dr. Pittas stressed that “the Cyprus Institute is a core of innovation and research with extraordinarily positive results that are made even more impressive considering the Institute’s small size. The unique research infrastructure that my contribution helps to establish today, approaches the service levels of the most capable laboratories of its kind in Europe.”
The establishment of this unique research infrastructure was necessary in view of the rapid developments in science and technology, as it offers new and innovative approaches to the study and understanding of art and archeology, while contributing to the promotion and protection of cultural heritage of Cyprus and the wider East Mediterranean region. Images, artistic, technical, and material themes can now be studied using advanced digital and analytical methods that have literally redefined the archaeological method, the way we protect and preserve our cultural heritage, but also the history of art as a whole and its importance to modern societies.
The APAC Labs will offer a broad interdisciplinary and multidimensional diagnostic approach by incorporating inorganic and organic physicochemical methods, reflective multiphase imaging and two-dimensional and three-dimensional geometric characterization of surfaces in the study of art and historical artefacts. The data collected will be archived within the context of the "Edmée Leventis" Digital Library for Cypriot culture, which is hosted at CyI’s Cy-Tera High Performance Facility.
The inauguration ceremony concluded with a guided tour of the new facility.