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21 September - 31 October 2021

A special exhibition to commemorate and honour the heroes of 1821 in the context of celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution is organized by the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, and THOI Kyperounta.


At the landmark of two centuries after the national palingenesis or rebirth, the historical centre of Kyperounta (St Marina square) and the courtyard of St Arsenios church host an impressive outdoor exhibition that puts the spotlight on those who fought and died for freedom.


The exhibition showcases 23 paintings that depict emblematic figures from a total of 320 portraits sketched by Benjamin Mary (1792-1846), diplomatic representative of Belgium to Greece.


The drawings were made from life, mostly in Athens, between 1839 and 1844. They are exhibited for the first time, acquainting the beholder with known and unknown personalities of the Greek Revolution and of Greece under king Otto, through the sensitive, penetrating gaze of a European artist. 


Fighters, politicians, clergymen, intellectuals, philhellenes and ordinary people pose patiently for Benjamin Mary, who succeeds in capturing their mien at a unique moment in History.


Among those shown in the portraits are: Th. Kolokotronis, Nikitaras, L. Koundouriotis, I. Makrygiannis, Ch. Chatzipetrou, British philhellene G. Finlay, P. Notaras, Th. Farmakides, the Cypriots A. Myrianthousios and N. Theseus, B. Petimezas, A. Mavromichalis, E. Salafatinos, I. Kolettis, I. Karatzas, D.N. and K. Botsaris and others.



Further historical evidence as well as information about the depicted persons may be found in the publication of the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation and the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece – National Historical Museum: History has a face – Figures of 1821 in Otto’s Greece by the Belgian diplomat Benjamin Mary (Athens, 2020).


Outdoor exhibition duration: September – October 2021