Tag Archives: Kattos Vasilis (Κάττος Βασίλης)

Memorial to the dead and missing

Μνημείο πεσόντων και αγνοουμένων (1)n Μνημείο πεσόντων και αγνοουμένων (5)n Μνημείο πεσόντων και αγνοουμένων (6)n OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Artist: Vasilis Kattos 

Location: Yiannos Kranidiotis Αvenue, Latsia. Nicosia district 

Category: Turkish Invasion

Photography: Evangelia Matthopoulou

This memorial could define the epitome of the Cypriot mother’s identity. The memorial brings together the distillate of the national symbols constructing a concise visual narration of the Greek Cypriot identity. A hexagonal marble pedestal mounted on a low base and delimited by an equal number of Doric-like columns carries four massive Cypriot women who share the weight of an extra size bronze torch on their backs. The women, all in typical peasant dresses, struggle under the weight of the torch, striving to balance it and safeguard its flame. The six metopes between the Doric-like columns are decorated with low reliefs capturing iconic images of the Cypriot tragedy: wire fences; dead bodies; symbols of martyrdom; the idealized female figure of victory or motherland embracing the souls of her fighters; wailing women in front of a church; and soldiers at the peak of battle. 

Apart from the apparent physical weight the gigantic torch implies, its’ symbolic weight serves as an allegory of heroism and of the sacrifices required in order to ensure the historical continuity and the safety of the homeland. That sacrifice is mirrored on the bodies and faces of these women, and inextricably testifies to their role in the ethno-nationalistic rhetoric. 

On the one of the six metopes it is written: “To you who have not died, to you who are not alive, to you who did not get a proper burial, to you whom I wait for” (Σε σένα που δεν πέθανες, σε σένα που δε ζεις, σε σένα που δεν τάφηκες, σε σένα που προσμένω). Below that, on a scroll framed by a laurel wreath there is a second dedication: “Whoever you are… Wherever you are… Whatever you are… You, Mother… Love” (Όποια και να σαι… Όπου και να σαι… Ότι και να σαι, Μάνα εσύ … Αγάπη).

The unveiling took place on July 26th 1996. 

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Alexander the Great (Μέγας Αλέξανδρος) statue

Μέγας Αλέξανδρος (11)n

Artist: Vasilis Kattos 

Location: Yiannos Kranidiotis Avenue, Latsia. Nicosia district. 

Category: Ancient Greek & Byzantine legacy

Photography: Evangelia Matthopoulou

The monument was constructed to commemorate Latsia and Kilkis (Greece) Municipalities twining. The unveiling took place on July 30th 1994.

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Hephaestus statue

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Artist: Vasilis Kattos 

Location: Technical School of Nicosia, Aglandjia. Nicosia district.

Category: Modern sculpture

Photography: Evangelia Matthopoulou

The statue was commissioned by the Aglandjia Technical School, with the initiative of the students of 1983-1984 class.

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Memorial area “Panorama of Greek Cypriot missing” or “House of the missing”

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 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 5 n

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Artists: Vasilis Kattos (the seated weeping mother and the oversized head; and the “Missing soldier” or “Quest” outside the “House”)
Michalis Papadakis (the mother and the missing soldier in the inner yard)
Kostas Ikonomou (the frescoes) 

Location: “Alexander Papachristoforou” Foundation premises, adjacent to Agios Alexanndros church, Pyrga village. Larnaka district. 

Dimensions: 3 meters high (the oversized head and the “Missing soldier” or “Quest”)

Category: Cypriot Women, Turkish Invasion 

Photography: Evangelia Matthopoulou

The memorial belongs to the “Alexandros Papachristoforou” Foundation and was offered to the Cypriot state. The opening ceremony took place on May 22nd 1999.

Vasilis Kattos is the sculptor of the two artworks outside the “House”. On the left-hand side is located the “Missing soldier” or “Quest”. An oversized hand protectively embraces a soldier who bears the facial features of the missing Alexander, the son of the founders Christoforos Christoforou and Eleni Papachristoforou. According to the sculptor the missing soldier symbolically faces towards Pentadachtylos Mountain, in the occupied part of Cyprus.

On the right-hand side, the over-sized head of a Reserve Officer creates the central part of the composition. On his long hair is engraved a number of faces, and the number 1619 which corresponds to the officially listed as missing Greek Cypriots. The sculptor chose to depict only the head and not the body, as an implicit statement of the current unknown status of those soldiers. Next to the Officer’s head is an aged wailing mother. She is reminiscent of the familiar images of the suffering Cypriot mothers, and provides and instant glimpse into the experience of personal and social trauma.

In the inner yard the woman at the feet of the dead soldier who hangs from a pole could be his actual mother or, allegorically, motherland Cyprus. She screams in pain and horror while crawling on the ground. Her impressively intense grief deforms her face and the diagonal positioning of her body echoes her despair on the surrounding walls.

On those same walls a number of symbolic paintings narrate the tormented life of the missing and the prolonged mourning of their families. Flanking the entrance of the gallery Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection remind us of the strong relationship between Cypriot national conflicts and the Cypriot church, as well as the deeply rooted analogies between Christ’s and heroic sacrificial death. 

On a plaque on a pillar at the entrance of the “House of the missing” is written:“The island of Cyprus was invaded by Turkey on the 20th July, 1974. Turkish planes, heavy armor, landing craft, and tanks were used. The invading forces numbered 40.000 troops. They captured 40% of the island. Of the half million Greek Cypriot population thousands were killed [..] thousands taken prisoner. Nearly 200.000 became homeless refugees. 3.000 prisoners were released, but 1619 are still missing”.

The western wall of Agios Alexandros church is paved with the black and white photographs of the 1619 missing, while inside the art gallery, which is the central room of the “House”, six oversize paintings are narrating in an eloquent way the suffering of the missing and their families. 

Selected sources:
~ Μαραθεύτης Μιχαλάκης (Maratheftis Michalakis). 2000. Πανόραμα ελλήνων Αγνοουμένων της Κύπρου (Panorama of Greek Cypriot missing). Nicosia: Alexandros Papachristoforou Foundation. 
~ Φιλελεύθερος (Fileleftheros), May 15, 1999, p. 16.
~ Φιλελεύθερος (Fileleftheros), May 23, 1999, p. 38.

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Odysseus Spetsiotis (Οδυσσέας Σπετσιώτης) bust

 Οδυσσέας Σπετσιώτης, αγωνιστής ΕΟΚΑ 55-59 (1)n Οδυσσέας Σπετσιώτης, αγωνιστής ΕΟΚΑ 55-59 (3)n

Artist: Unknown

Location: Platanistasa village, opposite Community Park. Nicosia district

Material: Marble and stone

Dimensions: 182 cm x 81 cm x 111 cm

Category: Turkish Invasion

Photography: Evangelia Matthopoulou

The initiative for the memorial was taken in 1984 by “Odysseus Spetsiotis” union. 

Selected sources:
~ Φιλελεύθερος (Fileleftheros), August 8, 1984, p. 8.

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Krinos Charalambous (Κρίνος Χαραλάμπους) statue

Ανδριάντας Κρίνου Χαραλάμπους (4)n

Ανδριάντας Κρίνου Χαραλάμπους (9)n

Artist: Vasilis Kattos

Location: Pigenia, adjacent to Community Committee premises. Nicosia district

Category: Turkish Invasion

Photography: Evangelia Matthopoulou

The initiative was taken by the Pigenia Community, and the Kykkos and Tyllirias’ Bishop Nikiforos. The unveiling took place during July 2011.

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Memorial to the dead and missing

Giorgos Xenofontos Poyiatzi n Kostas Ch. Katalanos  bustn      Giorgos Xenofontos Poyiatzi                               Kostas Ch. Katalanos

Μνημείο πεσόντων και αγνοουμένων Αγίου Επιφανείου (9)n

Artist: Vasilis Kattos

Location: Agios Epifanios Orinis village. Nicosia district. 

Dimensions: 150 cm x 279 cm x 30 cm

Category: 1974 Coup, Turkish Invasion

Photography: Evangelia Matthopoulou

The memorial is dedicated to Kostas Misiaoulis (Κώστας Μισιαούλης), Kostas Ch. Katalanos (Κώστας Χρ. Καταλάνος) and Giorgos Xenofontos Poyiatzi (Γεώργιος Ξενοφώντος Πογιατζή). It was commissioned by the families of the fighters. The unveiling took place on September 11th 2011.

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