A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Tuesday, 28th of May 2013, between The Cyprus Institute (CyI) and the Center for Research and Restoration of Museums of France (C2RMF), one of the most profound and specialized centres internationally in the use of cutting edge technologies for the analysis, documentation, preservation and restoration of art works and archaeological treasures.
The Collaboration Agreement was signed by the President of CyI, Prof. Costas N. Papanicolas and the Director of C2RMF, Mrs. Marie Lavandier.
C2RMF is the national research center in France responsible for the documentation, conservation and restoration of the items held in the collections of more than 1,200 museums across the country. C2RMF also carries out extensive scientific studies and data recording for these collections, and is active both nationally and internationally in the field of cultural heritage conservation and analysis.
The signature formalized the long standing partnership of the two institutions. The collaboration aims at the advancement of their common research and educational objectives, including applications of science and technology to the study, documentation and preservation of cultural heritage, especially for the Mediterranean and the Middle East region. The two institutions will develop cooperative activities, including joint research and educational projects, exchange of students, faculty, researchers and other staff, joint organization of events and exchange of information.
During the ceremony the Chair of CyI’s Executive Committee, Dr. Andreas Pittas emphasized that the presence of Marie Lavandier in Cyprus and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between The Cyprus Institue and C2RMF is very important, because Cyprus is an archaeological paradise.
Our museums and ancient arts, emphasized Dr. Pittas, should be accessible to everyone and especially to young people, whom we can train and guide. The technological infrastructure available at The Cyprus Institute, he concluded, becomes necessary for the understanding and appreciation of our archaeological treasures.
The ceremony was attended and addressed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works, Mr. Alekos Michaelides on behalf of H.E. the Minister, Mr Tassos Mitsopoulos. The minister stressed that for a country like Cyprus, so rich in archaeological and historical monuments and cultural heritage, such cooperation agreements are important since they enhance our understanding of the past and greatly contribute to the development of scientific analysis and the analytical documentation of cultural remains.
The Director of C2RMF during her speech said that it is with great pleasure and pride that she signs, on behalf the Centre for Research and Restoration of the Museums of France. She stressed that she was immediately impressed by the fact that a new institution dedicated to scientific research at the highest level, had, from its early stages of development, integrated a branch devoted to heritage. Cyprus, said, is an extraordinary island in terms of heritage and history where all the major civilizations and cultures of the Mediterranean have crossed their paths in history.
The President of The Cyprus Institute said that signing a cooperation agreement with an internationally recognized institution is of particular importance for both the Institute and Cyprus. Working with leading institutions like C2RMF has two particularly important parameters, firstly the conduction of pioneer research in areas of global significance and secondly the adaption and enforcement of high standard performance.
During the event, a brief presentation of the innovative Mobile Archaeological Laboratory (STARLab) of CyI’s Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center took place. The official presentation of the Research Laboratory STARLab, will be held soon at a special event.
STARLab, is a unique to the country and the region, research infrastructure which will greatly contribute to the scientific research, documentation and preservation of the cultural heritage of Cyprus. It consists of a specially designed truck and a customized cabin, adapted to accommodate up to four researchers, as well as the necessary state-of-the-art equipment, instruments and software in order to perform autonomous research in the field, whether an archaeological site or a museum. It is a completely autonomous unit, able to perform onsite analyses and provide results in real time.
The key partners of the project are the University of Cyprus - Archaeological Research Unit (UCY-ARU), the Center for Research and Restoration of Museums of France (C2RMF), the Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas - Institute for Mediterranean Studies (FORTH-IMS) and the Institute of Molecular Science and Technology of the Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISTM).
The project is co-financed by the European Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation.