The British journalist John Fielding of Thames TV together with his colleague Martin Smith were in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus to shoot a film for the TV program " This week tonight". As they were being officially escorted ever y where, they decided to venture out secretly very early in the mornings to draw their own conclusions and return before breakfast time to meet with their escorts. Some of the things they saw they published in the English newspaper " The Guardian" on 6th May 1976 under the title " The Rape of Northern Cyprus". The 100 page report prepared for UNESCO by Jacques Dalibard, a world authority on religious art, concerning the looting and vandalism of Greek churches and too well documented to be ignored was suppressed for fear of upsetting both Greeks and Turks. The vandalism and desecration were so methodical and widespread that they amounted to institutionalized obliteration of everything sacred to the Greeks. They visited 26 former Greek villages from where only four churches from that number could be described as being in decent condition. They found not a single undesecrated cemetery. In some instances an entire graveyard of 50 to 100 graves had been reduced to pieces of rubble not larger than a matchbox. (Extract from: The plundering of 9000 year old civilization, Academy of Athens) It is known that more than 130 churches have been desecrated and more than 80 converted into mosques, hospitals and hostels.

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Monastic Gospel books with intricate and beautiful illuminations provided craftsmen in the Middle Ages an opportunity to produce some of the most magnificent works of art. Gold and silversmiths of Cyprus who confined their work mainly on the production of ecclesiastical objects of art, and who had developed their trade considerably, began to plate the covers of Gospels in gold and silver.

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Monastic Gospel books with intricate and beautiful illuminations provided craftsmen in the Middle Ages an opportunity to produce some of the most magnificent works of art. Gold and silversmiths of Cyprus who confined their work mainly on the production of ecclesiastical objects of art, and who had developed their trade considerably, began to plate the covers of Gospels in gold and silver.

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When in 1840 Sir Rowland Hill invented the first postage stamp in the world, little did he know that stamp collecting would become a great universal hobby. In time it became known as the "King of hobbies and a hobby of Kings". King George V was an avid collector and naturally, the Royal Collection, which now belongs to Queen Elizabeth II, contains some of the most unique stamps of the British Empire. Philately evolved when keen collectors began to delve into collecting early letters, postmarks, postal stationery seals, printers’ proofs and essays that led to the final design of a stamp. Researching into how mail was conveyed and paid for before and after the advent of the postage stamp led to what philatelists call Postal History. Today no serious collector endeavors to amass the stamps of the world. Apart from the prohibitive cost it is a fruitless task. Specialization in one or two countries, one period, or one theme such as "space" or "paintings" is the trend that prevails nowadays.

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More than twenty five years ago, the Council of Europe launched its first nature conservation campaign to make Europeans generally aware of the overriding need to protect their environment. The existing threats to the environment are so serious that nature conservation is needed not just in the protected areas but comprehensibly throughout Europe. For this reason the Council of Europe decided to stipulate 1995 as "European Nature Conservation Year", with an emphasis on conservation outside the protected areas. Nature conservation should cover all areas where people work and live for even in populated areas, wildlife can survive and prosper if respected and not trampled upon. Therefore the campaign's objective was to ensure that the concepts of natural environment and biodiversity were allowed for in every human activity. Cyprus issued its first set of stamps for the European Nature Conservation Year on 3rd August 1970.

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Trees of Cyprus are part of the natural heritage of the island. Two thousand years ago Eratosthenes (c.276194 B.C.), Greek astronomer and scholar had said that the fields of Cyprus
were so densely covered with trees that the land could not be cultivated. Even though trees were cut down for shipbuilding and the continuous smelting of minerals (copper being one such metal), no human device could exhaust the wood. It was therefore decided by the Council that every man would be allowed to own whatever land he could bring into cultivation by cutting down the trees. Fertile fields were thus created but times have since changed and conservation and re-forestation are orders of the day.

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20 years ago, one of the greatest Greek poets of the 20th century, wrote the "Hymn and Lament for Cyprus". The poem has five stanzas. There follows the 1st two lines and the last two lines of the 1st stanza. Bitter Island, sweet island, island tortured by tyranny, I try to speak of your pain and bow down devout and remain.Courage, our little daughter, who ’ve became a mother for us, Hymn and lament of life and church bell of resurrection. Yannis Ritsos "Hymn and Lament for Cyprus", 1974.

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