About this Organization
The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation was established in 1984 and is housed in the old administrative building of the Bank of Cyprus, which was built in 1936 and is situated in the historical center of Nicosia near Phaneromeni Church. Since its establishment in 1984, BOCCF main strategic aims are a) to collect, preserve and disseminate primary sources related to the cultural and natural heritage of Cyprus, with a particular emphasis on the international promotion of the island’s centuries-long Greek civilization and b) to encourage, assist and materialize the research and study of Cypriot civilization in the fields of archaeology, history, art and literature. In keeping with the objectives originally delineated for the Cultural Foundation, BOCCF currently curates two important museums (the Archaeological Museum of George and Nefeli Giabra Pierides and the Museum of the History of Cypriot Coinage) and keeps six Cyprological collections (Coins – Maps – Rare Books & Manuscripts, Engravings, Old Photographs & Watercolours – Contemporary Cypriot Art, the Archaeological Collection and the Ethnographic Collection). The Ethnographic Collection has been accumulated through the years by three generations of the Pierides family in Larnaca. It is an important collection of objects of Cypriot folk art, related to the rural and urban living in Cyprus. It includes weaved and embroidered pieces, traditional costumes, silverware and jewellery, woodcarvings, ceramics, as well as tools and utensils. The Collection was acquired by the Laiki Group in 2006 and since June 2013 it belongs to the Collections of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation.
One manner by which the BOCCF achieves its objectives for dissemination of its Museums and Collections is the publication of books and folios that pertain to archaeology, history, art, literature and the environment. In addition to this, the BOCCF organizes exhibitions, lectures and scientific conferences devoted to these areas through its well-planned and efficiently executed yearly program. Moreover, in recent years the BOCCF has expanded its activities overseas, collaborating closely with major organizations and museums, both in Cyprus and abroad. Since its inception, it has held more than 55 exhibitions in Cyprus, in Greece, and in a number of European cities and more than 100 scientific conferences in Cyprus while participating in many others abroad.
BOCCF’s aim is always to bring the primary resources, through the work of the scientists, closer to the wider public in order to achieve the engagement of the audiences and a prosperous dialogue between academia and the people. The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation (BOCCF) has a twofold objective for 2020: first, to offer an alternative, subversive outlook on the cultural scene, both on national and European level – appealing to large audiences with cultural topics the Foundation has been delving into for the past 35 years. In order to achieve this, the BOCCF will open up to new endeavours, revisiting the concepts “Private” and “Public” with an eye to creating a grey area between the two, allowing to “restore” the BOCCF Collections, by means of various innovative methods and specific actions, to their natural owner, the “Koinon Kyprion” – Common to All Cypriots. Second, the BOCCF will set out to build bridges that are not readily discernible by the wider public, bringing together cultures of different countries (e.g. Cyprus and other contemporary countries) different eras (e.g. antiquity and present day) or different arts, different genres and topics, different sciences – fruitfully redefining the value of parallel presentation but also of comparativeness that unites rather than separates.
Director of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation
Dr Ioanna Hadjicosti graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, with the BA in Greek Philology and the specialization of Classics. She studied with the Scholarship of the Institute of National Scholarships of Greece (Ι.Κ.Υ.). She then pursued her studies in Classics at University College London (UCL) where she was first awarded the MA in Classics, followed by the PhD for her thesis with the title Aischylos and the Trojan Cycle: The Lost Tragedies. Her research is multidisciplinary combining literature, theatre studies, archaeology and history and her research interests mainly include ancient drama and epic poetry.
The fact that she taught Ancient Greek and Early Byzantine Literature (ELP 21) as an adjunct lecturer at the Open University of Cyprus and served as the coordinator of the module for a year, combined with the fact that she has written part of the educational material for two of the OUC modules further enriches her academic background. Since 2007 she is working at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation as the Curator of the Collection of Manuscripts and Rare Books.
As a result, Dr Hadjicosti has organized and managed a series of events, exhibitions, educational programs and conferences, while she has participated in several research programs concerning the Collections of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation and edited a number of the Foundation’s publications. Additionally, since November 2016 she is the Director of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, having the responsibility to design and implement the new strategy, organize the yearly program of events and supervise the research programs of the Museums and Collections.
She also participated herself as a researcher in various European programs receiving the Best Practice Award for the Grundtvig Workshop ‘Modern Views of Greek and Roman Antiquity’, by the Lifelong Learning Programme Grundtvig 2011-2012. She is currently acting 1) as the co-ordinator in the programme DIDAKTOR (Post-Doctoral Researchers) RESTART 2016-2020, Research Promotion Foundation: «Aspects of multi- confessionalism and human geography in early modern Cyprus from the Venetians to the Ottomans» (CyChrist) and 2) as the co-ordinator in the programme EXCELLENCE HUBS RESTART 2016-2020, Research Promotion Foundation: «Re-inventing age-old travel paths of the Levant: The example of Cyprus» (ReTraPath). She is currently the coordinator of the project “Redefining the future of cultural heritage, through a disruptive model of sustainability” funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004545.