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“PROSFΙGOSIMO”: Cyprus ‘74

A stamp for the refugees of Cyprus. The story of a symbol. The testimony of displacement through the visual arts of the last fifty years. The exhibition "Prosfigosimo" opens on Wedensday January 24th and will stay open till Thursday February 1st. Curated tours dates will be attached below.  

In September 1974 the Government of Cyprus established a stamp with the purpose of aiding the refugees resulted from Turkish invasion of the island that had occurred a few weeks earlier. The so-called Prosfigosimo, literally meaning, “refugee stamp”, is since then a painful reminder of the invasion and occupation of 37% of the territory of Cyprus. The stamp has since been affixed to everything mailed by the Cyprus Post, not only within Cyprus but also abroad, thus informing the international community about the pending Cyprus issue.


The familiar Refugee stamp portrays a girl sitting on a suitcase amidst barbed wire. It is entitled Cyprus 1974 and it is an astounding work of art in its own right. It was created by the celebrated Greek engraver A. Tassos (1914-1985).


The present exhibition, first hosted by the House of Representatives of Cyprus under the auspices of its President, Annita Demetriou, in Spring 2023, documents the process through which the Refugee stamp was created, based on archival and philatelic material, as well as relevant artworks. It showcases details of A. Tassos' woodcut and demonstrates its effect on the artistic production of Cyprus in the subsequent five decades.


The exhibition includes emblematic paintings and engravings by one of the “fathers of Cypriot art”, Telemachos Kanthos (1910-1993), the renowned artists Lefteris Economou (1930-2007) and Andreas Ladommatos (1940) and prominent contemporary artists, such as George Gavriel (1959), Michalis Kountouris (1960), Lia Lapithi (1963), Andreas Nicolaou (1966), Panayiotis Pasantas (1971), Elena Sarri Varnava (1956), Jane MacLean, Katerina Christodoulou (1960) and the George Pantazis (1965-2023). Many of the artworks displayed are inspired by photographs of the popular London-based photographer, Doros Partasides (1944), who was at the forefront of war as a reporter in 1974.


Curated tours dates: Thursday, January 25th, reservation here

Friday, January 26th , reservation here 

Monday, January 29th, reservation here

Tuesday, January 30th, reservation here 

Thursday, February 1st, reservation here 

The artworks shown visualise, by extension, the consequences of displacement that apply to all refugees regardless of time and place.

Telemachos Kanthos (1910-1933)

Triptych of ᾽74. Flight I

1981, 1983, 1988

Oil on canvas

102 x 41 cm, 102 x 74 cm, 102 x 43 cm

Collection of the heirs of Telemachos Kanthos

Lefteris Economou (1930–2007)

Thorns, Tents and Refugees


Oil on canvas

107 x 61 cm

Collection of the Lefteris Economou Foundation

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