Cyprus // Lefkosia (South Nicosia) //

Cyprus Postal and Philatelic Museum

Housed in an unassuming little building tucked away down a side street to the east of Aischylou, the Cyprus Postal and Philatelic Museum is surprisingly interesting, even for those who find the attractions of philately inexplicable (a school pupil wrote in the visitors’ book “it is the only museum where I did not feel bored”). Although it covers postal services on the island since Venetian times, the bulk of the exhibits refer to the period of British rule, when a modern mail system was established, and the period since post independence. Brits will find some of the exhibits (the Victorian post boxes for example) very familiar. But then there are the stamps themselves, which, as well as showing what Cyprus considered worth commemorating (the great Pafos mosaics, for example, or the indigenous moufflon), are also miniature works of art in their own right. Stamps bearing portraits of President Makarios inevitably loom large and are used as a case study to illustrate “How a stamp is born”. The curator (Ploutis Loizou) is happy to talk on all things stamp-related for as long as you’ve got, and you can of course buy packets of stamps and commemorative issues.