The Cyprus Folk Art Museum was founded by a few keen members of the Society of Cypriot Studies in 1937 and is housed in the premises of the old Archbishopric Palace. In 1961 the seat of the Archbishop of Cyprus was moved to the new palace. The Society then approached the Archbishop who graciously handed over the whole of the premises of the Old Archbishopric to the Society, to be used for its activities. It was at that time from 1962 to 1964 that extensive reconstruction of the building was carried out, at the very great expense of the Society with the help of His Beatitude Makarios III.
The poem is dedicated to his friend and first Director of the Museum, Adamantios Diamantis. Very special paintings are two wall paintings of a coffee shop from a village called Geri, that depict a hero of the Greek Revolution against the Turks in 1821, called Athanasios Diakos and a very famous athlete, called Panagiotis Koutalianos, who was famous of his power and his exhibitions all over the world. Two other important paintings are those of M. Kassialos, 'The wedding' and A. Stylianou. 'Lapithos'. Both paintings depict cypriot customs and traditional works. Today the number of items of our Museum catalogued is over 5000.
During 1955-1959 troubles, the Museum was forced to close in three different occasions. Also, in the summer of 1974 when the Turkish invasion took place, the collection was transported to safer areas and the Museum was closed for over a year's period. Though, the adventures were not over. The artifacts needed immediate conservation, the roof of the building was about to collapse and the humidity was causing irreparable damage to the exhibits. In 1990 His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos generously offered to cover the expenses and thus, extensive repair work took place that was finished in April 1996 when the new exhibitions in the ground floor opened for the public. In June 1999, the Silk Industry Exhibitions were inaugurated in the first floor of the building. The old Archbishopric is situated in the square named after Archbishop Kyprianos who was hanged by the Turks in 1821 with the commencement of the Greek Revolution, so that it would not spread in Cyprus that was under Ottoman rule as well as the Greek mainland. Kyprianos was actually taken from a room in this building to the place of his martyrdom. On the first floor there is the room which was used by him and is known by his name. Across the street is the Pancyprian Gymnasium, the oldest and largest gymnasium in Cyprus, which is the continuation of the Greek school founded by Archbishop Kyprianos in 1812 and dedicated to the Holy Trinity.
The museum has a rich shop with traditional handicrafts and also small gifts inspired of tradition woven bookmarks, shadow theatre figures, jewellery and books concerning Cyprus archaeology, tradition etc You can also try traditional drinks like soumada (made of almond), rosewater and cypriot coffee. For groups we can offer traditional homemade pies, made in satzi and pourekkia (a pie with white cheese-halloumi).
Volunteers are accepted to work in our museum, as our organization is based in volunteerism since 1937
Address Arch. Bishop Kyprianou Sq.
Telephone 22432578, fax 22 343439
Opening hours Tuesday – Friday 9.30-16.00, Saturday 9.00-13.00
Admission Adults € 2, Children € 1 ευρώ, Guided tours available with a small fee, Free entrance for public schools
Museum shop with handicrafts and books, Refreshments bar