The Byzantine Museum has the biggest collection of icons in the entire island of Cyprus. The museum is located in the Old City of Nicosia and it has icons from the 9th through the 18th centuries. It also houses an art gallery that exhibits maps, lithographs, and oil paintings that allow tourists to understand the Cypriot history and culture. Byzantine art is entirely represented in this museum due to its rich collection. The church of Panagia Phaneromeni was set to house the Cyprus Byzantine Museum.
The museum has 48 icons as the core of the collection from churches in the entire island of Cyprus. These icons have been presented in Paris in 1967 at an exhibition called “Tresor de Chypre” and consequently passed through multiple European cities. Icons of exceptional importance from the north of the island currently under Turkish occupation, managed, due to this exhibition in Paris, to be kept in the Archbishopric and are currently on display in the museum.
Also on display are typical products of the Byzantine minor art of Cyprus, like for instance books, vessels and vestments. Seven fragments of the 6th century mosaics coming from the apse of Panagia Kanakaria at Lythrankomi, the church, as well as 36 fragments of wall painting of the late 15th century coming from the church of Christ Antiphonitis at Kalogrea, are in a special place in the collection. Archbishop Chrysostomos I and Spyros Kyprianou, the President of the Republic during that time, inaugurated the first room of the Byzantine Museum on January 18th 1982.
The Byzantine Museum is a must see attraction that allows tourists to take a journey through 1500 years of history. The museum is open from Monday through Friday, 09:00 to 16:30 and on Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00.