Crusades: Myth and Reality

  Crusades: Myth and Reality The theme of this historic exhibition is the influence the Crusades had on Mediterranean cultures starting from the beginning of the Crusades in the 11th century until the abolition of the Order of St. John in 1798. More than 200 finds will be exhibited most of which are presented for the first time: 13th to 16th century ecclesiastic icons and frescos from Cyprus and Rhodes of high artistic value and importance as they represent various cultural backgrounds will be exhibited as well as architectural sculptures from the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and from gothic temples, Knights’ arms, portraits of the Grand Masters of the Knights Hospital of the Order of St. John, coins and ceramic vessels that testify to the commercial interaction between not only the Crusader-States but also between the East and West. Finally, Islamic items are exhibited which testify the presence of the East in the West.

Twenty museums and private collections are participating in this first ever exhibition in Cyprus. These art pieces will also be exhibited in Greece, Italy and Malta. The Museums, which lend antiquities to this exhibition, are: Crusades: Myth and Reality Cyprus
Department of Antiquities
The Pierides Museum-Laiki Group Cultural Centre
The Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Cyprus
Museum of the Kykkos Monastery
Holy Metropolis of Morfou
The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia
Private Collection of Professor Demetris Michaelides
Byzantine and Christian Museum
4th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities in Rhodes
6th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities in Patra
Museo Civico di Fara in Sabina (Abbazia di Farfa), Rieti
Museo Nazionale di Arte Orientale, Roma
Centro di Cultura e Storia Amalfitana
Chiesa SS. Giovani e Paolo al Celio, Antiquarium, Roma

Maritime Museum-Heritage Malta
Juseph Muscat Private Collection
Gollcher Foundation-Palazzo Falson
National Museum of Fine Arts-Heritage Malta
Palace Armoury-Heritage Malta
Zabbar Paish Church Museum
Our Ladies of Victory Church

In the remarkable castle inspired by medieval models designed by Yiannis Toumazis, the visitor will have the opportunity to travel in the world of Crusades not only through the study of the valuable exhibits but also with the aid of technology.

The exhibition is divided into 6 thematic sections:
i. Crusader Art and religious power
ii. The Knights and the Hospital of the Order of St. John in Malta
iii. The war technology
iv. The symbols of cosmic power
v. Economy, commerce and urban life
vi. East in the West
Crusades: Myth and Reality Multimedia play a very significant role in the familiarization of the public with the exhibition by the presentation of the Crusades in a most fascinating fashion. The production of the multimedia, designed and developed by the Foundation of Hellenic World in Greece, will include digital images of real objects, digital maps showing the areas the Crusades covered, texts and other two and three-dimensional elements. This material will be incorporated in a dialogic application, which will provide the viewers with the opportunity to acquire additional information on the Crusades.

The educational programmes organized by specialists aim at the active participation of the students. A catalogue of all the exhibits will be printed in 4 different languages (Greek, Maltese, Italian and English). A round table discussion (1st February 2005) and a public lecture (31 January 2005) will examine the most recent archaeological finds and will present the public with a general overview of the areas the Crusades.
The exhibition ‘Crusades: Myth and Realities’ invites and provokes the public to consider the connection between the past and recent phenomena of military, socio-economic and religious nature. It also gives a contemporary slant to an aspect already familiar through our long history; that the Mediterranean has always been the place of coexistence of different cultures, civilizations and religions. Gabriella d'Avenas

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