On July 1, the Cyprus’s six-month rotating presidency for the European Council began, but the opening ceremony kicked off the presidency in style on July 5 at the Ancient Kourion Theater Limassol. President Christofias and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy spoke, as well as the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Poland and Denmarks’ Prime Ministers.
One hundred sixty cultural events, highlighting Cyprus heritage, will take place during Cyprus’s presidency. The Republic has plans to promote European policy on education, culture, youth and athletics, both in Cyprus and abroad. These cultural events will take place in Cyprus, as well as in various European capitals, the United States and Australia.
In January, after the assumption of the Cyprus Presidency, President Demetris Christofias said, “(The presidency) shall lend even more prestige to Cyprus, especially within the European and international environment … A successful European presidency on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus shall create a significant political and strategic reserve that shall be later utilized within the Union.”
Fresh into the presidency, on July 2, Christofias made an appearance at the Center for Fine Arts «BOZAR» in Brussels to unveil two exhibitions, “Mapping Cyprus 1191-1960: Crusaders, Explorers and Merchants” and “Contemporary Views of Cyprus.” Lectures, concerts, dance and film screenings by Cypriot directors are to follow.
Additionally, the Department of Antiquities will host exhibitions in Cyprus, the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, at the Louvre in Paris, Princeton University in the United States and in the Palace «Quirinale» in Rome.
Other events include a photo exhibition in Copenhagen about the occupied city of Famagusta titled “1974, The Ghost of Cyprus,” and the Cyprus Sports Organisation is planning gatherings to promote Cyprus’s sports heritage. Also, coinciding with the 2012 Olympic Games – to be hosted in London – resident Demetris Christofias has plans to inaugurate the exhibition, “Sports in Cyprus, A History of Centuries.”