CMP exhibition opens at European Parliament, Brussels
(Brussels, 11 October 2016) Today, a photo exhibition on the work of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus opened at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was hosted by the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and attended by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Members of the European Parliament, Ambassadors of EU Member states, the Members of the CMP, and a group of Greek and Turkish Cypriot families of missing persons among others.
With photographs by renowned photographer Nick Danziger and texts by award winning author Rory MacLean, the exhibition, Beneath the Carob trees, depicts the efforts undertaken by the CMP’s scientists to locate, exhume, identify and return to their families the remains of persons who went missing during the events of 1963-4 and 1974.
In his opening speech, President Schulz paid tribute to the work of the Committee, noting that “behind the impressive scientific endeavour there is a very deep and personal dimension. Your work allows the families to make peace with their personal tragedies the division of Cyprus has brought. It is an example of how together both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can overcome the pain of the past and find energy and faith to build a better future together."
European Commission President Juncker expressed his deep appreciation for the work of the Committee on Missing Persons, adding that "the Committee has enabled hundreds of Cypriot families to recover the remains of their loved ones and close a long period of anguish and uncertainty. It has proven to be a successful confidence-building measure and strongly contributes to reconciliation in Cyprus."
The CMP Members thanked the European Parliament for its role in ensuring continued European Union support to the Committee. They further expressed their determination to continue their bicommunal effort to establish the fate of the large number of missing persons yet to be found.
The exhibition opening also featured a performance by a group of young Greek and Turkish Cypriot musicians, the Cyprus Young String Soloists.
To date, out of an official list of 2001 missing persons, the CMP has identified and returned the remains of nearly 700 individuals to their families. The CMP is grateful to the European Union for having provided the funding for this exhibition and for the accompanying book, Beneath the Carob Trees: the missing lives of Cyprus.