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National Museum of Cultures Receives Donation of Works Created by Hambis Tsangaris
Vasilis Philippou, ambassador from the Republic of Cyprus gave Leonel Durán, director of the National Museum of Cultures, 37 engravings created by Artist Hambis Tsangaris. Photo: Héctor Montaño INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- Thirty seven engravings by the Cypriot artist Hambis Tsangaris that represent Kalikangiari, mythical beings related to December feasts on the island, were donated yesterday by the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Mexico to the National Museum of Cultures (MNC).

This collection, the second received from the Cyprus Government, will be presented to the public in December 2010 at the Multi-purpose Hall of the National Museum of Cultures, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of this precinct, part of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

“This contribution will help Mexican public to know more about Cypriot culture, history and traditions, said Leonel Duran, director of MNC, when receiving the engravings from hands of Vasilis Philippou, Ambassador of Cyprus in Mexico.

“This is a sample of the friendship between our nations, thanks to which we share stories of the fantastic world of elementary beings, as the case of kalikangiari, in Cyprus, which conception is not very different to elves, chaneques or aluxes in Mexico” declared Duran.

The 37 engravings of different sizes were created by the artist Hambis Tsangaris, whose art stands out by promoting the Cypriot expressions, as well as its history and folklore. The stamps, where black, purple and white colors dominate, are part of a collection of the engraver.

“Kalikangiari are little black beings that have both human and animal presence, and are part of the cultural richness of Cyprus; the belief dates from ancient Greece, and it survives in our country as well”, explained Ambassador Philippou.

According to the diplomat, “this unique and precious work was created 5 years ago and has a value that exceeds 20,000 euros; it is the first time this kind of engravings are donated to Mexico, and there is no other country, beside Cyprus, that owns a similar collection”.

The engravings represent the mythical characters of legends and customs of the December feasts in Cyprus; these “elves” come up from December 25th to January 6th, period known as the Advent of Epiphany, from their fantastic world into the real one, to destroy it and hassle people in their sleep”, commented the ambassador.

Hambris Tsangaris began engraving at 24 in the workshop of the renowned artist A. Tassos, in Athens, Greece, also studying Graphic Arts in the Sourikov Institute in Moscow.

“The artist displays his creativity through forms and colors to capture in this collection a world where fantastic meets real, showing that the Cypriot-Greek folklore is not very different to Mexican”, commented Leonel Duran, director MNC.

The donation of the Kalikangiari engravings to the National Museum of Cultures (MNC) represents an unbreakable bond that will make cultural relations between Cyprus and Mexico closer, hoping they continue being one of the communication channels between both countries”, expressed the Ambassador of Cyprus in Mexico.

The Republic of Cyprus made a first donation to the MNC in 2009, integrated by more than 100 ethnographic and historical pieces, among them, an historical map that illustrates the third trip of Saint Paul through the island, vessels and traditional garments of different regions, as well as books about Cypriot history and religion.

National Museum of Cultures | Mexico | Hambis Tsangaris | Leonel Duran |

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