Michael Walsh discusses the efforts to save the forgotten frescoes of Famagusta, Cyprus.
Founded in the late tenth century and rising to prominence after the fall of Acre in 1291, the port city of Famagusta once rivaled Constantinople and Venice as a center for maritime commerce. Through the centuries, Famagusta was ruled by a succession of conquerors including French, Greek, Genoese, Venetian, Ottoman, and British-creating an astonishingly varied artistic and architectural legacy. The historic walled city of Famagusta was included on the World Monuments Watch in 2008 and 2010, drawing attention to the beauty and significance of the famed city, and the critical conservation and maintenance needs to protect the historic structures. After a 2008 mission to assess key structures in Famagusta, WMF sponsored the conservation of the fifteenth-century Forty Martyrs of Sebaste in the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. The Forty: Saving The Forgotten Frescoes of Famagusta, Cyprus, a documentary film by Dan Frodsham, tells the story of Famagusta's first successful art intervention in almost eight decades. To learn more about the historic walled city of Famagusta, visit www.wmf.org.
Michael J. K. Walsh has recently arrived at the School of Art, Design and Media, in Nanyang Technological University, having been employed at Eastern Mediterranean University (Famagusta, Cyprus) for nine years. In that time he successfully nominated Famagusta for inclusion in the World Monuments Fund Watch List, brought the Global Heritage Fund to the same city, and in 2010 acted as team coordinator for the United Nations project 'Cultural Heritage Data Collection in the northern part of Cyprus'. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of his efforts to safeguard endangered Cypriot heritage. His co-edited book Medieval Famagusta: Studies in Art, Architecture and History will be published by Ashgate in 2012, and later that year he is hosting a conference on Famagusta in Budapest. Previous books include: This Cult of Violence (Yale University Press, 2002); A Dilemma of English Modernism (University of Delaware Press, 2007); Hanging a Rebel (Lutterworth Press, 2008), London, Modernism and 1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Runaway Dreams: The Story of Mama's Boys and Celtus (Kennedy & Boyd, 2011).
Professor of Art, Design, and Media at the Nanyang Technological University Michael Walsh describes his teams efforts to use 3D modeling technology to create a virtual museum of the Orthodox Cathedral of St. George in Famagusta.