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SALAMIS IN THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS.
BY ALEXANDER PALMA DI CESNOLÀ, F.S.A.,
Cesnola collection from Cyprus, it is due to the kindness of the Turkish officers, from the simple zaptieh or policeman, to the Governors-General; and I know that this kindness continued, although some jealous persons and others did their utmost to deprive me of this indulgence and regard. This, however, was not the same when, at a later time, they tried to injure me with the new Government. This jealousy was not limited to the authorities of the island; but resulted in a communication to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Italy. In thinking of how much other diggers and archǽologists have had to suffer in foreign countries, principally in the East, before me, for instance, Botta, Layard, Schliemann, and others, I cannot but feel that my lot was not so hard as theirs, and so I continued my work without paying much attention to what was said and done against me. I always worked with the countenance and indulgence of the authorities and public officers. I had, indeed, made application in Constantinople for a lirman, but never received a positive answer; so I continued digging without it It is on this account that the reader will not find in the Lawrence-Cesnola collection many large monuments of the statuary class, such as my predecessors had been able to obtain. It was not because I did not find any, or made no researches for them; but I was unable to treat them like small articles which are easily removed. If I had tried to remove large works, it would not have been to my advantage; but, most probably, advantageous to others, and possibly they woujd have stopped my work. It is certain that if I had succeeded in obtaining a firman, England might have obtained some fine statues and monuments, and had no cause to regret what it has lost. Mr. Edwin Lawrence would, in that case, have had all his wishes fulfilled. In November 1877, my workman came from Salamis to Larnaka, and brought three statuettes in terra-cotta, one with a Greek inscription on it, which he had found in a tomb there. He brought, also, -several pieces in marble and stone bas-reliefs, from a spot at which he hoped explorations might prove very successful. I ordered all my men directly to Salamis, and followed immediately, took a house in a village near the ruins, and remained there until the British occupation of the island. My collection at that time was not a third of what it afterwards became, in consequence of this discovery in Salamis. On bringing to England the mass of the relics I had recovered from the soil of Cyprus, an exhibition of the whole was arranged, where it still continues, in Holland Park, in the mansion of Mr. Lawrence; but very few general visitors have seen it, on account of its display at a private residence. Fortunately, no necessity of selling this collection exists, as many other collections have been sold at public auction, and for the sake of realising their money value; and, certainly, no one would desire to disperse this one, until every means had been used of securing these works of antiquity to the public use in the fittest manner, and I should be glad, if it were possible, that they could be exhibited in a public museum. The student will find every piece described in this book, with the name of the place where found; and this has been done so as not to fatigue the reader with a long preface. During all my diggings I have never sold a single antiquity. I have, on the other hand, presented many things, principally to English and American visitors, who honoured me with visits while they were passing through the island; but I always refused to sell anything. I embarked on the Lloyd steamer from Cyprus in February 1879; and returned to London the 22nd of May 1870, after having stayed in Italy some time, in order to re-establish my health. Six months after, the collection was arranged in cabinets in two large rooms, in the house of Mr. E. H. Lawrence, 84, Holland Park, where they still remain. Many Englishmen and foreigners of learning have visited the collection. I invited Dr. S. Birch and Professor C. T. Newton, C.B., of the British Museum; and Mr. Wallis and Mr. Thompson, of the South Kensington Museum, to see the antiquities; which they did. In 1881, with Mr. Lawrence's consent, I offered to exhibit the collection in the South Kensington Museum, and for the benefit of art students. After four months I received an answer from the authorities, who placed at my disposal six small cases in a room near the Water-Colour Depart- , ment. I took the advice of many friends; and every one agreed it was impossible to make a favourable exhibition in so small a place. I therefore declined the offer, hoping for a better occasion at a later time. At the end of the same year I offered to lend the greater part of the collection to the British Museum for temporary exhibition; but the offer was not then brought to a successful conclusion. With these offers I feel I have completed my duty to students and amateurs in antiquities. The Lawrence-Cesnola collection is too large for a private museum. It is my ardent wish that some day it may be in a public one.
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