October 1, 2023


By Heidi Trautmann ….
www.heiditrautmann.com ….

The most talked about event, an event that comes just right at a moment of economical and political uncertainties, to boost national pride with the reproduction of the ancestors’ culture – and with it the awareness of Cyprus history.

I have followed the efforts to bring to life this public awareness during the last couple of years and I ask the reader here to read the stories of this development under the following links in order to keep in line with its individual steps.

1st International Akdeniz Terracotta Symposium – First day 2014 – Click here

1st International Akdeniz Terracotta Symposium – 7th day 2014 – Click here

1st International Akdeniz Terracotta Symposium – Final day 2014 – Click here

4th International Akdeniz Terracotta Symposium at The Bedestan – 2016 – Click here

1st International Catalkoy Vounous Terracotta Symposium – 2017 – Click here

The research and reproduction activities of the past have for the last two years found a home in Catalköy at the ancient Necropolis Vounous with the great support of Catalköy Municipality, an institution with its Mayor, Mehmet Hulusioğlu, that strongly supports efforts of art and culture.

The project was brought to life by Rauf Ersenal and his team. See the list below. Organisation: Çatalköy Municipality.

Rauf Ersenal

Project Committee :

Mehmet Hulusioğlu (Mayor)
Rauf Ersenal (Project president)
Derman Atik (Coordinator)
Celal Dimililer (Vice-President)
Cumhur Deliceırmak, Şenol Özdevrim (Art Advisors)
Sevcan Çerkez
Bedia Kale
Pervin Özgeçen
Nevin Nedda Halis
Mehmet Ali Akçal
Hasan Cenap
Kemal Ersenal
Korhan Nur
Funda Ergör

It is not only about uncovering the secrets of the island’s past culture and art, it is also the will and preparedness of artists to work together to recover the riches of the island and have them placed in a museum for everybody to see and study. The objects which so far have been existing only as photos and drawings, were taken away by archaeologists to the museums in England and Sweden in the course of the last century. Some of them are resting in the Archaeological Museum in South Nicosia.

Secondly, the art of ceramic has never before boomed as much as it does today through these Terracotta symposiums, adults and children are invited to try their hand and are being helped by the expert artists. During the last period of years I observed an improved tendency to learn the ceramic arts and many educational institutions have opened up, official ones but also many private studios have taken up teaching the arts.

Thirdly, as our President Mustafa Akıncı pointed out, as well as the Mayor of Çatalköy, Mehmet Hulusioğlu and Derman Atik, it will be a profound and sincere attraction for tourism and people who want to learn about the past.

Rauf Ersenal and his friends have been searching the island for the clay in valleys and brooks, clay that was collected over months and is now being used for the reproduction of objects and sculptures.

Throughout the weeks of the symposium, cultural activities were undertaken that showed the lifestyle habits of the bronze age people, what they used in their households and how they used it,  also, how they worked instruments with the material of their natural habitat. Such instruments were produced during the symposium, cooking and firing places, weapons for hunting made from bronze using bag bellows to get the proper heat for the process.

Our local artists have already, months before, started to produce some objects so people could get some idea of what it is all about, an entire field of beautiful objects. There is a free sculpture at the entrance of the Vounous site, made by Sevcan Cerkez, her image of the the Queen of Vounous,  she is now building up her version of the King of Vounous, she explained to me. There are other great life size sculptures strictly according to the photos of the originals done by our artists ahead of time. Sorry, I have not looked for the names of the creators.

The opening evening was a great event with music and light shows, with members of the archery club showing their sport with LEDs on the tip of the arrows, a torchlight procession of young girls clad in antique costumes and much more. The area was lit with small oil lamps along the pathways and the artists worked in their bamboo huts all the while explaining their work to the many visitors. All that, despite the enormous heat of September, however most of them didn’t start working until 17:00 hrs until late at night each day.


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