Preparations for first Natural History Museum begin in 2012
DINOSAUR skeletons and heads over 144 million years old are just a few of the relics the public will be able to view in the first ever Cyprus Museum of Natural History, preparations for which will begin in 2012, it was announced yesterday.
The announcement was made by Education Minister Andreas Demetriou.
Demetriou was speaking at a news conference to inaugurate the establishment of the Angelos and Emily Tsiridis Foundation. It was also to discuss the €4 million worth of dinosaur relics being gifted to the state by Angelos Tsirides, on the condition the state build a museum for them.
Tsirides is a well-travelled private collector and owner of Tsircon Co.
The site of the new museum will be at the Elenion Primary School in Nicosia, which up until a few months ago was only a possibility. According to Demetriou the museum will be part of a science centre incorporated into the school, which will still continue to function as a school. “It will not stop working as a school and we think that it can co-exist with the museum,” said Demetriou, who could not say how much has been set aside for the museum but could confirm that part of the 2012 budget will be set aside for the preparations.
“This is a non-profit venture so I can share everything I’ve learnt, loved and know,” said Tsirides with tears in his eyes. “We hope to soon be able to fulfil this life-long dream,” he added also thanking his wife for helping him. Tsirides said that he was confident that the museum with its artefacts would be the best in the Mediterranean.
The collection will include a variety of curious, pre-historic artefacts collected by Tsirides on his travels either from private collectors or from actual archaeological digs, some as old as four billion years old. It includes about 1000 findings, mainly fossils and minerals. Some of the more fascinating fossils consist of the head of a Triceratops which is around 68 million years old, the head of an Ichthyosaurus which is around 200 million years old and a complete nest of the Hadrosaur, which is around 144 to 165 million years old. The oldest fossils are single-celled organisms from Australia, which are about four billion years old. The collection even includes a 26kg meteorite.
Currently part of the collection is being housed at Tsircon Co.
Tsirides also owns a shop on Stavrou Avenue in Strovolos called Prehistoric Treasures.
By Natalie Hami
Source Polis Life