RELEASE: Cyprus' artisanal heritage - Classes with BE OPEN and CVAR attended by 160 girls and boys

(Information sent by the signatory company).

RELEASE: Cyprus' artisanal heritage - Classes with BE OPEN and CVAR attended by 160 girls and boys

(Information sent by the signatory company)

LONDON, April 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- For two days on April 22 and 23, the Nicosia Visual Arts and Research Center hosted 160 schoolchildren from public schools in Cyprus who participated in educational sessions organized by BE OPEN Foundation dedicated to the artisanal Heritage of Cyprus.

This initiative was devised with the aim of popularizing and preserving the traditional textile production techniques of Cyprus. Each session consisted of a lecture on craft-related entrepreneurship and a master class on traditional Cypriot weaving.

The conference was prepared by a young entrepreneur Andreani Panayide, who shared her own journey from beginning to explore her cultural heritage to establishing a fashion brand that markets accessories and clothing internationally. She said: "I am glad to be part of this project and thank BE OPEN and Ms. Baturina for the opportunity to share my fascination with traditional Cyprus fabrics as well as my experience of building a contemporary fashion brand with love and respect for the craftsmanship that embodies an important part of our cultural heritage. It is vital to teach children that these traditions still exist and that exploring them can be as exciting and rewarding as ever."

Elli Filokyprou, a weaver with more than 20 years of experience, who runs her weaving workshop in the village of Gourri, gave the children real weaving master classes on small transportable looms and helped them create their own patterned pieces of fabric colorful.

The classes titled Craft Heritage of Cyprus – Classes with BE OPEN and CVAR were supported and inaugurated by representatives of the cultural and educational authorities and institutions of Cyprus. Deputy Minister of Culture, Dr. Vasiliki Kassinidou, commented: "I firmly believe that the promotion of traditional crafts is one of the most important ways to preserve cultural heritage. All handmade objects are a tangible link to our past and our ancestry; they represent the traditions, history and values ​​of the people of Cyprus. By keeping traditional crafts alive and inviting young people to explore their beauty and variety, we ensure that future generations have access to these essential aspects of their heritage."

On behalf of the Minister of Education, Sports and Youth of Cyprus, Permanent Secretary Dr. Marina Ioannou Hasapi took the floor to thank all those who worked to prepare the workshop and came to appreciate and preserve the rich cultural heritage of Cyprus. He added that for this the Ministry "is grateful for collaborations with institutions like BE OPEN that are already having a profound impact with this initiative. I congratulate all the students who have come and will come to participate, and I hope that they come to an understanding of our past, to be able to shape better our future."

Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis congratulated everyone on the "wonderful opportunity to learn our traditions and learn them by doing, which is the best way." "I think it'll be cool," he added, "assuming you like these classes, if any of you actually create some of the future clothing for us."

Following words of encouragement from Anna Zavou Christoforou, Internal Audit Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr. Rita C. Severis, founder of CVAR, expressed her joy at being able to offer children the opportunity to learn about their traditional crafts , "very appreciated and many thanks to BE OPEN for making this possible and bringing together so many children," she concluded.

Finally, BE OPEN founder Elena Baturina welcomed the children, thanked the project's supporters and explained why keeping craft traditions alive is so important for people of all ages: "Craft is a connection: with one's history, culture, nature and place and with oneself. While we are surrounded by mass-produced items that lack individuality, to stay rooted in our heritage, we crave handmade things with a unique character that give us help build and preserve our own individuality. And it is our duty to share this connection with new generations, because for them it is the perfect gateway to their own history and culture, the geography and nature of their homeland, and an exciting one. opportunity to explore their artistic talents.

Once the interventions were finished, BE OPEN announced that the two professional transportable looms used for the demonstration in the master classes would be given to the authors of the workshop as a gift from Elena Baturina, to "help them continue doing what they love, and be even more creative and inventive."

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