The Ledra Palace Museum project deals with the representation of difficult history in museums and investigates ways in which technology can help to overcome any obstacles this entails. Despite its decadence, the Ledra Palace Hotel remains a beautiful and interesting place with a history worth to be told.Our aim is, through an extensive archival research, as well as a layered collection of testimonials (interviews and crowdsourcing), to ‘revive’ the history of the Ledra Palace hotel in a more multivocal and multilayered way.
This project is mostly based on the notion that museums dealing with difficult heritage can use technology to facilitate participatory and collaborative approaches, and actively engage different groups and communities (especially excluded, marginalized or silenced ones) in order to tell contested histories. We are therefore, interested in stories of people who experienced the Ledra Palace hotel in different ways or capacities: as guests, as audience in a concert or a show, as participants in conferences, business or work meetings, as employees, or as soldiers. Since this could not be done on the actual site of the hotel, we tried to create a museum ‘in the wild’ with the use of interactive media and new technologies.
Our first attempt to present this project was in October 2019, at the Buffer Finge Festival in Nicosia where we installed a pop up museum through which we tested the technological applications we were developing and at the same time did some crowdsourcing. The Ledra Palace pop-up museum exhibited no objects, memorabilia or relics of a past period. It completely relied on technological applications to showcase different stories and perspectives. The CYENS (then RISE) tent was divided into four stations: an interactive holographic pyramid; a VR 360 projection of the Ledra Palace Hotel; VR interviews; and a crowdsourcing station.
For the purposes of this exhibition, CYENS worked with two Multidisciplinary Research Groups of CYENS Centre of Excellence, one with expertise in history and museum studies (Museum Lab) and the other in emerging technologies (ITICA), in close collaboration with the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia for the design of the applications. The installations created for the Ledra Palace exhibition include immersive Virtual Reality [VR] experiences and Augmented Reality [AR] interactions.
Maria Patsalosavvi (Assistant)
Architectural Design and Supervision
CYENS Technology Team
Kleanthis Neokleous, Panayiotis Kyriakou, Fotos Frangoudes, Demetris Shammas, Savvas Avraam, Marios Hadjiaros, Thinker Maker Space
The Coffee Films
Alexandra Pel (English) Georgia M. Panselina (Greek)
Sotirios Lappas, Vassilis Vavoulis, Fotini Pipi
Maria Patsalosavvi, Sophia Christodoulou
appios® creative studio
Yiannos Kyriakou, Argyris Argyrou
Ledra Palace: Dancing on the Line
1st June – 31st October 2021
‘LEDRA PALACE: ΧΟΡΕΥΟΝΤΑΣ ΣΕ ΜΙΑ ΓΡΑΜΜΗ / DANCING ON THE LINE’
The exhibition is accompanied with a 274 pages impressive publication rich in essays and photographs provided by academics and researchers, who approached the Ledra Palace from various points of view.
Editors: Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert, Loukia Loizou Hadjigavriel and Antigone Heraclidou
Language: Greek and English
Text Editing: Alexandra Pel (English) Georgia M. Panselina (Greek)
Translation: Sotirios Lappas, Vassilis Vavoulis, Fotini Pipi
Photography (Exhibits): Anna Maria Hadjigavriel, Pavlos Loizides
Graphic Design: appios® creative studio
Printing: Laser Graphics Ltd
Listen to a podcast on the history of the Ledra Palace Hotel here:
The podcast was released on January 28th, under the lecture series “Let’s talk history” organised by the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation.