The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens has launched an initiative aimed at protecting the biodiversity and intangible cultural heritage of the islands of the Cyclades by helping identify funding resources and ensuring that they make their way to local organizations and agencies that are active in such fields.
“The Museum of Cycladic Art would not exist without the Cycladic islands and their civilization… Today, local societies are more vulnerable than ever to increased tourism, the abandonment of traditional customs and their rituals, but also climate change,” said the museum’s president and CEO, Sandra Marinopoulou, about the initiative.
“Cycladic Identity seeks to provide the means and motivate the islanders to actively participate in the preservation of their own heritage. Its elements are what has shaped local communities from the past to the present and hold the potential to lead them to a sustainable future,” she added.
The initiative is currently running nine programs that were selected by a committee of experts from among 24 submissions made earlier this year. These nine programs range from the ancient marble quarries of Paros and traditional water management practices on Andros, to the craft of drystone walling on Mykonos and traditional musical instrument players of Kea.
The initiative’s scientific committee comprises the director of the Cycladic Antiquities Ephorate, Demetrios Athanasoulis; Cambridge University’s Dr Michael Boyd, a senior research affiliate in science and technology in archaeology; the CEO of WWF Greece, Demetres Karavellas; and archaeologist Angeliki Kosmopoulou, who is also the executive director of the Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation.