Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:18 +0300

Logo Unveiled in Nicosia:

NICOSIA, 14 May 2008 - The official logo of the XIII Games of the Small States of Europe was unveiled during a Press Conference at Olympic House here today. The logo is a graphic representation of the Kyrenia Ship, a national symbol for Cyprus. The logo was the inspiration of designer Pericles Christoforides, who also designed Tefkros, the mascot of the Games.

The wreck of the 4th Century B.C. Greek merchant ship was found in 1967 off the coast of the city of Kyrenia, on the northern shores of Cyprus, by diving instructor Andreas Cariolou. She was excavated and brought to the surface by a team of marine archaeologists lead by the University of Pennsylvania and is now exhibited, together with her cargo, at the Ancient Shipwreck Museum in Kyrenia Castle.

Archaeologists believe that the ship sailed the Mediterranean during the time of Alexander the Great and sank off Kyrenia probably due to rough seas about 300 B.C. She was already about 80 years old and had undergone extensive repairs when she foundered.

The wooden hull, made from Aleppo pine, measured 14.7 metres from bow to stern (over 50 per cent of her hull survived intact) and her beac was 3.8 metres across. Her estimated speed was 4 to 5 knots.

Carrying freight from Rhodes (wine amphorae), Samos, Kos, Cyprus and the Palestine and millstone from the volcanic rock of Nisyros, the ship was manned by a crew of four, judging by the utensils recovered (four wooden spoons, oil jugs, salt dishes, drinking cups). The crew survived on almonds (a huge quantity of which was discovered intact) and any fish they managed to catch.

Two major unique scientific experiments have been made at recreating the ancient ship of Kyrenia. The first was a naval architectural shell-first construction project and was launched in 1985 by the President of the Hellenic Institute for the Preservation of Nautical Tradition, Harry Tzallas, under the guidance of professors Katzev and Steffy (leaders of the ship's underwater excavation), who built a full-size replica and named her Kyrenia II. Kyrenia II has visited many parts of the world as the floating ambassador of Greek and Cypriot culture, including New York (pictured, left on the 17 cent Cyprus stamp as she sailed past the Statue of Liberty in 1986), Japan and Germany. After her visit to Japan, a second exhibition replica, named Kyrenia III, was constructed in Fukuoka by the NHK and is housed at the Fukuoka City Museum.

A third scientific replica was constructed in 2002 and named Kyrenia Liberty. Built accurtely to the original naval architectural lines-plan, but with the contemporary frame-first techniques, in order to continue sail, steering and cargo loading experiments. Kyrenia Liberty sailed to Athens for the 2004 Olympic Games, carrying a a symbolic cargo of copper (whence Cyprus gets its name), to be used for minting the Olympic bronze medals.

The Kyrenia Ship, representing the islandís relationship with trade, shipping and the sea, throughout Cyprus history, features on the national side of the 0.50 (right), 0.20 and 0.10 cent coins of the euro. Cyprus joined the euro zone on 1 January 2008.

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