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The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation


The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation is one of the major cultural centres in Cyprus promoting the Cypriot cultural heritage. Since its establishment in 1984, the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation has developed a wealth of activities, in keeping with the objectives originally delineated for the Cultural Foundation by the Bank of Cyprus. The Foundation’s main strategic aims are to encourage the research and study of Cypriot civilisation in the fields of heritage of Cyprus, with a particular emphasis on the international promotion of the island’s centuries-long Greek civilisation. 

The Foundation keeps five Cyprological collections: Coins - Maps - Rare Books & Manuscripts, Engravings, Old Photographs & Watercolours -  Contemporary Cypriot Art and the Archaeological Collection. Further, the Cultural Foundation curates two museums: the Museum of the History of Cypriot Coinage and the Archaeological Museum of George and Nefeli Giabra Pierides (donated by Clio and Solon Triantafyllides). 

One manner by which the Cultural Foundation achieves its objectives is the publication of books and folios that pertain to archaeology, history, art, literature and the environment. This is precisely why the Foundation periodically organises exhibitions, lectures and scientific conferences devoted to these areas. In addition to the above, the Cultural Foundation has expanded its activities overseas, collaborating closely with major organisations and museums, both in Cyprus and abroad. Since its inception, it has held more than forty-five exhibitions in Cyprus, in Greece, and in a number of European cities.


Museum of the History of Cypriot Coinage

The Museum was established in 1995 and since then it has been the only one of its kind in Cyprus. A large part of the Foundation’s Numismatic Collection is in display in this permanent exhibition. 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 BC to the present day.

With the establishment of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in 1984, the Bank of Cyprus bequeathed to the foundation, among other works of art, rare documents and antiquities, and a small collection of Cypriot coins, mostly medieval in provenance. These coins formed the initial core of the collection, which has developed into a significant set that covers the entire range of the Cypriot coinage, from the period of the city-kingdoms of mid. 6th century BC to the modern issues of the Republic of Cyprus.

Included in the initial collection is a bronze coin from the Roman period, donated to the Bank by a member of the Board of Directors of the Group. This coin bears the legend “ΚΟΙΝΟ(Ν) ΚΥΠΡΙΩΝ” (League of the Cypriots); 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.

Each show case has 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 has a short explanation of measurements, weight and depicted icons.