Cyprus to protest illegal excavations in Galiporni, Antiquities Department Director says

Antiquities Department Director Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou has said that excavations taking place in Galiporni, in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, violate international laws and well as the relevant law of the Republic of Cyprus and that the department will refer the issue to the Foreign Ministry so that the latter makes representations, at the international level, against these actions.

Invited by CNA to comment a press report about important archaeologocal discoveries during excavations conducted in Galiporni by the Middle East “university”, Ieronymidou said that all excavations conducted in the occupied areas since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974 brutally violate article 9 of the second protocol of the Hague Convention regarding the protection of cultural heritage in the case of armed conflict, while at the same time they violate the Republic of Cyprus Antiquities Law.

She also noted that the archaeological importance of the particular site is known since 1962 and that an ancient treasure was discovered in 2004 when two German universities began excavations there. Ieronymidou expressed the belief that new items may have been discovered during the new excavation.

With regard to the excavations by the German universities she said that the Antiquities Department, the Foreign Ministry and the Cypriot Archaeologists Association had then made representations and that in February this year Tubingen university sent an apology letter, assuring that they would not proceed with any other archaeological excavations in Cyprus occupied areas.

“We will react to this as we always do as regards issues related to the destruction of archaeological sites in the occupied areas and inventions made to them,” Ieronymidou said, adding that they will refer the issue to the Foreign Ministry which is the competent authority to take all necessary actions at the international level.

Source: Cyprus News Agency