Cyprus // Lefkosia (South Nicosia) //

Cyprus Handicraft Centre

About 500m south of the Police Museum, but off the opposite side of Leoforos Lemesou (it’s well signposted off the main road), is the Cyprus Handicraft Service complex, consisting of a range of workshops turning out craft items using traditional methods. Established by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism with the support of the UN Refugee Agency, it represents a determined attempt to revive traditional folk art. In a low-key modern building laid out around a shady central garden, craftspeople can be seen hard at work producing clothes, leatherwork, woodwork, basketry, metalwork, pottery, tapestry and embroidery. You can chat to the workers, buy quality-assured items without fear of being ripped off, and feel that you are supporting a worthwhile enterprise. This is the flagship of other such schemes across the island (for example in Larnaka, Lemesos and Pafos), and you’ll find plenty of information on Cypriot crafts, such as the traditional pottery of Fini, or Lefkara lace.