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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-04-05
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 5 April 2000
 President Clerides inaugurates four new galleries of Cypriot art in the New York Metropolitan MuseumThe President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides inaugurated last night the four new galleries of Cypriot art in the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
The galleries contain 600 Cypriot art exhibits, stored in the vaults of the Museum. The exhibits were exported from Cyprus by the US Consul Luigi Palma di Cesnola between 1865 and 1876.
The Cypriot galleries will host some 600 of the finest works from the Museum 's collection comprising works dating from 2500 BC to about 300 AD.
In his speech, President Clerides said that the presence of such a large number of artifacts spanning almost three thousand years of a history, whose origins can be traced to 7000 BC, is a testament to the disproportionate importance of a small island in its contribution to the cultural heritage of mankind.
President Clerides expressed hope that "the display of these Cypriot objects in four permanent galleries is this great museum, and their accessibility to both, the general public and scholars, will be of great value and spark renewed interest in the popularization and scholarly study of ancient Cyprus."
Referring to the protection of our cultural heritage, President Clerides said that there are many artifacts "that have become objects of illicit traffic, especially those removed illegally from the territory of the island, currently outside the government's control. The plundering of the cultural heritage of Cyprus in this area has been so widespread that has let to a decision by the United States, a decision which we warmly welcome, to impose in April of last year, an emergency import restriction on Byzantine, ecclesiastical and ritual ethnological material from Cyprus unless such material is accompanied by an export permit issued by the Government of Cyprus". President Clerides reiterated on this occasion the government's "determination to investigate the fate and pursue the return of every object of our heritage removed illegally from this area of Cyprus, to their legal owners."
Pointing to the prominence the right for the protection of every country's cultural heritage has acquired, he stressed that "it is imperative that the antagonisms of the past should be replaced by a new spirit of conciliation and mutual respect of cultures and civilizations. After all we all stand in front of History which will be the final arbiter of our actions."
 Ireland expresses concern over Turkey's failure to execute European Court 's judgement on LoizidouThe Chairman - in - Office of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, Irish Foreign Minister Mr Brian Cowen said yesterday that he had sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart Mr Ismail Cem emphasising the Council of Europe's concern on the continuing failure of Turkey to meet its obligations.
Presenting the Irish Presidency's progress report to the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Mr Cowen stated, "The Irish Presidency regrets to report that the Committee of Ministers has registered no progress towards execution of the judgement in the Loizidou vs Turkey case. It remains the unanimous view of the Committee that the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court is an obligation accepted by all contracting parties. The execution of the Court's judgement, he continued, cannot be contingent on the outcome of any political process.
Mr Cowen expressed the view that "the recent welcome enhancement in Turkey's relations with her European partners and the future institutional developments of this relationship underline the need for a solution of this issue."
Replying to a question by Belgian MP Mr Erik Derycke, who asked Mr Cowen "whether the Committee considers that Turkey can remain - in these condition a full member of the Coe, Mr Cowen said that the letter he sent to Mr Cem is based on the premises that a solution can be found with the cooperation of the Turkish authorities.
 Cyprus and Sri Lanka sign maritime agreementAn amendment of the existing cooperation agreement on merchant shipping between Cyprus and Sri Lanka was signed last week between the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works Dr Vassos Pyrgos and senior officials of the Ministry of Shipping and Maritime Development of Sri Lanka.
 Cyprus and China sign air transports agreementAn agreement and a memorandum on air transport cooperation between Cyprus and China was signed yesterday in Beijing.
The memorandum was signed by Dr Vassos Pyrgos, Permanent Secretary of the Cyprus Ministry of Communications and Works and Mr Zhang Yafeng, Permanent Secretary of the International Relations Department of the Chinese Civil Aviation Ministry.
The agreement provides the framework for the development of air transports between the two countries and for the further promotion of bilateral relations in the fields of Tourism, Culture and Finance.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/