Memorial to the Latsia dead and missing

Μνημείο πεσόντων και αγνοουμένων Λατσιών (8)n Μνημείο πεσόντων και αγνοουμένων Λατσιών (9)n

Artist: Maro Bartzili 

Location: Latsia Town Hall, Yiannos Kranidiotis Avenue. Nicosia district 

Dimensions: 3 meters x 5 meters 

Material: Brass

Category: Inter-communal conflicts 1963-64, Turkish Invasion, Modern sculpture

Photography: Evangelia Matthopoulou

The initiative was taken by Latsia COOP Bank in early 2009 and the unveiling took place on December 20th 2009. The memorial is dedicated to those who died during the 1963-64 inter-communal conflicts and the Turkish invasion, and to the 1974 missing.

According to the art competition call: “The artist is required to express the concepts of heroism and the sacrificial spirit of the dead. At the same time an explicit hint to the missing needs to be obvious along with the hope for their return”. 

The wining artist Maro Bartzili proposed a modern synthesis where the distinct geometric elements balance with the human figure in a way that “intense lyricism and softness, motion and immobility coexist”. 

According to her proposal, the monument will invoke “the sacrifice, the strength and courage, along with the hero’s serenity confronting death or captivity [..] On the left hand side two figures, a female and a male, emerge from the material, symbolize the sacrifice, the loss and the wailing for the dead and missing […] The flower like shape they form is reminiscent of the bud that blooms, in the same way sacrifices come into fruition. In this way the two figures symbolize hope, too. The figure on the right hand side makes part of the geometric construction, becomes leverage, the driving force for all the claims for our missing people and their return”. 

The vertical geometric surface bears the names of the dead and missing and functions as a commemorative stele, too. The whole construction uses the wall of the Town Hall as a theatrical backdrop and, unlike most memorials, is placed lower than the ground level in a way that suggests emersion. 

Selected sources:
~ Αρχείο Δήμου Λατσιών (Latsia Municipality Archive), no 75.14:1/2, documents April 22, 2009; March 15, 2010; July 9, 2010.
~ Αρχείο Δήμου Λατσιών (Latsia Municipality Archive), no 75.14:1/1, documents January 15, 2004; April 11, 2007; July 22, 2008; Meeting minutes July 21, 2008.