GREEKS OF CYPRUS AND THEIR ART THROUGH HISTORY

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NICOSIA, THE CITY OF MARTYRS AND NEW PAGES OF HEROISM

VASILIS ZENETZIS

signed, oil on canvas, 70 x 100 cm, painted 1993

In the centre of Nicosia lies Saint John’s George with the old Archbishop’s Palace to the right and the new Palace to left. Standing high in front of the church and reminding us all of the past is Archbishop Kyprianos who as Ethnarch paid with his life upon the start of the Greek Revolution of 1821. Alongside him some 1500 Greek Cypriot leaders/dignitaries were hanged or executed by the Ottoman Turks for supporting the Greek Revolution.

Today, we live a new era of Turkish occupation, a new era of Greek Cypriot persecution as in the period of 1579-1880 but we Greeks as it was then remain Christian Orthodox in soul and mind. With that in mind Zenetzis was commissioned to paint the Christian centre of Nicosia in 1993 which you can enjoy here. The artist was in love with Cyprus being a Cretan and his work of Cyprus is unique and only in our collection.

We present here a magnificent canvas of his that demands respect not because it is by a recognised artist but because it tells a story as significant as the military achievements of our ancestors in Greece and recent heroes of Cyprus with EOKA struggle for Freedom in 1955-1959.

Peter Constant

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