The people of Cyprus realized early in the 20th century the need for the enactment of legislation’s and the formation of state bodies for the protection of the island’s antiquities. The need for strict legislation became quite pressing due both to the cultural wealth of the island and the multiple episodes of illicit excavations, looting and smuggling of antiquities from the island observed during the British Occupation period (1878-1960). The first Antiquities Law was passed in 1905, was significantly amended in 1927 and replaced in its totality in 1935, when the Department of Antiquities was formally established. Since then the law has been amended, whenever it was deemed necessary, with the most recent amendment being enforced in 2012. Parallel to the above the Department of Antiquities has also proposed and passed complementary laws for the protection, management and conservation of antiquities, whilst also signing a series of Conventions and Memorandums with international and European bodies and organizations. In the web-page of the Association of Cypriot Archaeologists you may access all the available English legal texts related to antiquities legislation, as well as visit links towards the full texts of the Conventions and Memorandums signed between the Department of Antiquities and other bodies and organizations. Unfortunately not all legal texts and amendments are available in English and it was considered ill-advised to arbitrarily translate texts without the consent or approval of the appropriate bodies of the state. However by switching to the Greek site translation you may find the full texts of all legislation’s for reference.

Conventions and Memorandums: