May 23, 2024

Lecture on the “Cultural Diplomacy from the Trenches: An Archaeologists View

yeronisos-1United Nations, 30 January 2018

The Women’s International Forum (WIF) in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations organised today, January 30, a lecture with the Archaeologist and Professor Joan Breton Connelly on the “Cultural Diplomacy from the Trenches: An Archaeologist’s View.” The lecture was well attended by Permanent Representatives of UN Member States, different delegations and WIF members. 

The Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Forum, Ms. Pamela Jacovides, opened the lecture by introducing Dr. Connelly’s excavation project, which started in Greece continued in Kuwait and ended up in Cyprus, more specifically in Geronisos. She also noted that Dr. Connely is an honorary citizen of Pegeia and is the author of several books such as “Her Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece” and the “Parthenon Anigma.” Dr. Connelly is the Director of the Yeronisos Island Excavations and Field School in Cyprus.

In her lecture, the Proffesor gave a very interesting historical overview of her career and shared her experiences from the excavations of the small island of Geronisos that began in 1990 with her team from the New York University. She highlighted the unique ecological character of the island and explained how she incorporated her archaeological research with environmental research to help maintain the natural and cultural elements of the island.

Dr. Connelly also noted that she was very impressed by the residences of Pegeia village and described how during the excavations the community including fishermen, priests, and young people helped her out. “A rich and wonderful life, kindness, imagination, openness, sense of fun, inclusiveness, humility, learn from the people around you. I cannot imagine any other side in the world could have taught us some much as we have learned in this little part of the Western Cyprus,” Dr. Connely added.

At the end of the lecture, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations, Ambassador Kornelios Korneliou, applauded the WIF for organising this event, taking into account the various challenges facing the world in preserving and protecting the cultural heritage. At the same time, the Ambassador expressed his appreciation to Dr. Connelly who presented a virtual, historical and cultural trip to Cyprus.

“Even a Cypriot can learn a lot from you and we are grateful for your input because even a small country like Cyprus – having a professor like Conelly – who believes in those people and the country can make us all stronger. Promoting our rich heritage to the international community and also to the many students that you have brought to Cyprus is very crucial.”

The Ambassador also referred to efforts made by Cyprus and Italy to establish a group of friends for the preservation of the cultural heritage, which can serve as a UN platform to strengthen the cooperation and efforts to protect the cultural heritage at a global level.