The Cathedral of St. Sophia, Nicosia c1960
The photographs in the Mangoian collection were taken between 1920 and 1960 by Haigaz Mangoian (1907-1970) a celebrated Armenian photographer living in Nicosia.
The photographs cover the whole of Cyprus and its people during British colonial rule. Leading through the Mangoian archive, two sentiments predominate; on the one hand, we have the contrast between the two people sharing this beautiful island, the calm life of the British colonialists and the life of the common people of Cyprus; on the other, that sudden feeling of time standing still.
With Nicosia’s occupation by the Ottomans (1570), the cathedral of Agia Sofia was turned into a mosque and two minarets were added onto the building’s west part. The cathedral’s rich sculptural decoration was destroyed and so were the frescoes, the sculptures and the stained glass decoration (vitraux) depicting scenes from the Old and New Testament. Funerary tombstones of various Lusignan kings and princes were also destroyed.
In August 1954 the monument was renamed the Selimye mosque in honor of sultan Selim II (1566 – 1574) who ruled at the time of Cyprus’ conquest by the Ottomans.
Print sizes: 25 x 20 cm – €20 and 40 x 30 cm – €40