The Cultural Foundation hosts one coinage and one archaeological museum at its premises in Nicosia. It also manages, on behalf of Bank of Cyprus, the Trust between the Bank and the Pierides Foundation regarding the Pierides Museum in Larnaca. The aim of the operation of the museums is to provide the public with unhindered access to three of its most significant Collections on the island. The Museums are open on a daily basis. Educational programmes for primary and secondary education students are organised regularly with the approval of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus.
The Museum was established in 1995 and since then it is the only one of its kind in Cyprus. A large part of the Foundation’s Numismatic Collection is on display in this permanent exhibition, at the Cultural Foundation premises, in Nicosia.
The presentation of more than 500 coins, divided in nine chronological periods (23 showcases), trace Cyprus’ tumultuous history, from the first coins minted on the island in the 6th century B.C. to contemporary times. Each showcase includes a brief introductory text enhanced by relevant illustrative material. Important coins from each historical period are illustrated in enlargement within the text while each coin is accompanied by a short explanation of measurements, weight and depicted icons.
Included in the initial collection is a bronze coin from the Roman period, of emperor Claudius (A.D. 41-54), donated to the Bank by a member of the Board of Directors of the Group. This coin bears on the reverse the inscription «ΚΟΙΝΟ(Ν) ΚΥΠΡΙωΝ» (League of the Cypriots) within a laurel wreath; it was a symbol of unity among the peoples of the island; this particular coin has been the official logo of the Bank of Cyprus since 1963.
The Museum has been actively engaged in the organization of educational programmes and lectures, the production of mass media applications and the publication of special editions pertaining to the history of coinage. Its Collection has been linked to international online research programmes, which has rendered it accessible to the wider public through the Foundation’s website.
The George and Nefeli Giabra Pierides Collection was donated to the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in 1999 by Clio and Solon Triantafyllides. Since 2002, the Museum is located at the Cultural Foundation premises, in Nicosia.
The Collection covers a wide span of Cypriot history and archaeology, from the Early Bronze Age (2500 B.C.) to the Medieval period (16th century). In addition to the collection donated in 2002, a total of 104 items have been offered on loan. On 25 August 2015, the official delivery ceremony was held at the Cultural Foundation.
SPYRA is an innovative digital programme also running in the Museum, the only one of its kind in Cyprus, which serves to bring archaeological exhibits from the Museum’s showcases closer to the visitor with the use of a touch screen.
Established in 1974, the Pierides Museum curates a collection of ancient and medieval Cypriot art, as well as a collection of maps of Cyprus.
It was named after the Pierides family, acclaimed collectors of antiquities, headed by Demetrios Pierides (1811-1895) in the 19th century, who went on to put together a significant collection, now on display at the museum. The Museum is housed at the Pierides family residence in Larnaca, which was built in 1825, and covers major periods of Cypriot prehistory and history.
Visitors to the museum may journey through centuries of Cypriot culture, across 9000 years of civilisation on the island, starting from the Neolithic period, the Bronze Age, to the Geometric, Archaic, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine-Medieval eras. The museum also hosts a collection of old maps of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the Collection of Hellenistic and Roman glass vessels.
The Museum hosts art exhibitions of well-known artists, as well as lectures on issues pertaining to its Collections and other matters of interest. It also runs a series of educational programmes and summer workshops for primary education students.