By ANNE CANALP
The opening ceremony at the ancient necropolis of Vounos will be led by TRNC President Mustafa Akıncı at 6.30pm tomorrow (Thursday, September 7) with a sound and light re-enactment of rituals last seen thousands of years ago.
The Çatalköy hilltop site saw identical ceramics made from the same local clay fired in replica kilns on Saturday for the first time in 5,000 years.
Ceramic artist Rauf Ersenal and his team completed the construction of around a dozen Bronze Age huts and a larger reed and bamboo workspace for visitors earlier this month in preparation for the first International Vounous Terracotta Symposium.
Mr Ersenal said: “There is a very ugly water depot on the site which we have transformed into a temple!”
Artists whitewashed the concrete tank and decorated it with a typical ritual vessel and a frieze of stags and motifs in the classic red oxide colours and style of the Vounous civilisation which is believed to have settled on the site from Anatolia.
The project is supported by Çatalköy Municipality and the village's mayor, Mehmet Hulusioğlu, is a frequent visitor to the site, to which he has supplied much needed manpower.
Filmmaker Mustafa Ersenal has already prepared a trailer for the event and will continue filming throughout the project to complete a documentary.
Mr Ersenal said: “Everyone is welcome to visit . . . We are really excited and will be handing out invitations to the opening this week.”
He added that artists from Turkey, South Cyprus, Azerbaijan and the Crimea would be joining local ceramicists for the symposium, in the style of previous similar events at Akdeniz, which runs from September 1 to 16 at the historic hilltop site near Çatalköy's Tepe Sokak.
The site will be open to the public from Monday, September 4, with a programme of events being lined up from 11am to 7pm daily.
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