About Zenon D Pierides
Discover the Secrets of the Pierides Museum
by Trillian2005 - last update: Apr 3, 2007
Meet them at the Pierides Museum, Larnaca
The archaeological collection of the Pierides Foundation Museum in Larnaca, Cyprus, was started by Demetrios Pierides in 1839 Demetrios Pierides began purchasing artifacts to preserve them and keep them in Cyprus. The collection, which now numbers over 2500 objects, has been maintained and enriched by generations of the Pierides family.
The Pierides family date back to noble origins, coming from the Ionian Island of Zakynthos, Kephallenia, and Sicily. Originally, they were Pierakis and Caridi, but they later changed their last names to Pierides and Caridi-Scaliotti. Meet them here, they are a really nice and sociable bunch, and some of them might even be pleased to have a cup of coffee with you. Preferably those that are still alive.
Demetrios Z. Pierides
Zeno D. Pierides
Demetrios Z. Pierides II
Peter H. Ashdjian
Pierakis, the father of Demetrios, was a prominent citizen of Larnaca and the son of Pietro Corella, who came with his father Demetrio Corella from Zakynthos (a Greek Ionian Island) to Larnaca in 1772. Both father and son were Dragomen of the Consulate of Venice and of the Kingdom of Lombardia-Venezia.
Pierakis's wife, Mariou Caridi, was the daughter of a noble family of Kephallenia, whose roots were in Sicily. After an uprising in Sicily the Counts Caridi left Italy and settled in Skala in Kephallenia. There they changed their family name to Caridi-Scaliotti. The family belonged to the nobility of the Ionian Islands since 1593, but in the eighteenth century Andronikos Caridi, Dragoman of Her Imperial Majesty, the Queen of Hungary, settled in Larnaca with his father Christodoulos. Andronikos had three brothers named Pavlos, Nicolaos, and Constantinos. Mariou Pieraki, the wife of Pierakis, was the daughter of Pavlos Caridi.
Pierakis Corella and Mariou Caridi had four children: Demetrios, the originator of the collection of archaeological artifacts, Pavlos, Annetta Themistocleous, and Ioannis, who was the father of Giorgos, Constantinos and Evanthia Pieridou, all bankers and benefactors of the city of Larnaca. At this time the three sons changed their last name to Pierides.
Demetrios Pierides, born in 1811, son of Pierakis, distinguished himself in Larnaca as a banker and scholar. He studied in London and became Vice-Consul of Great Britain and a member of Parliament. In the 19th century he was known as the first archaeologist and epigraphist on the island. The archaeological collection of the Pierides Foundation Museum in Larnaca, Cyprus, was started by Demetrios Pierides in 1839. Demetrios Pierides began purchasing artifacts to preserve them and keep them in Cyprus. The collection, which now consists of over 2500 objects, has been maintained and enriched by generations of the Pierides family. In addition to starting the Pierides Museum collection, Demetrios was one of the founders and benefactors of the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia. After his death, his sons Zeno (1839-1911) and Kyprael (1852-1928) inherited his important archaeological collections.
The first son, Zeno Pierides, inherited mainly pottery and heads of limestone statues of the Cypro-Geometric and Cypro-Archaic periods, and the second son, Kyprael, received a unique collection of Mycenaean pottery found in Cyprus. Kyprael's collection of Mycenaean pottery is still in Nicosia. Zeno's inheritance has been greatly increased by his descendants and is open to the general public in the Pierides Foundation Museum.
In the museum you can currently admire, in addition to Zeno's collection, Neolithic tools, Chalcolithic idols, pottery of the early and late Bronze ages, Cypro-Archaic jugs, numerous Cypro-classical and Hellenistic vases, Cypro-classical statues and Attic vases, Attic pottery, pottery from the early and middle Bronze ages, pottery of the Cypro-archaic period,mChalcolithic red-on-white pottery, pendants and idols of steatite a.k.a. soap stone, Roman terra-sigillata, Roman glass and Medieval glazed pottery of the Byzantine period, as well as an important collection of old Cyprus maps.
Zeno Pierides founded the shipping and banking company of "Z.D. Pierides" in 1860.He also became the first Greek mayor of Larnaca, Cyprus, as well as a member of Parliament and Consul of the American Consulate, Consul of Germany, and Consul of the United Kingdom, of Sweden and of Norway. He was also a member of archaeological societies in Rome, London, Athens, and Istanbul. Zeno enriched the Pierides collection further and housed the archaeological artifacts at his father's home in Larnaca, now the home of the Pierides Museum. He had two sons, Lukas (1856-1933), and Demetrios (1870-1943).
Lukas Pierides, Zeno's elder son, was also interested in archaology and literature. He added Neolithic tools, Chalcolithic idols, pottery of the Early and Late Bronze Ages, Cypro-Archaic jugs, numerous Cypro-Classical and Hellenistic vases, Attic pottery and Roman terra-sigillata ware to the collection. Lukas was a member of Parliament, Consul for Germany and Sweden. The King of Sweden, H. M. King Gustaf VI, helped Luke bring the Swedish Archaeological Expedition to Cyprus (1927-1931). This expedition, under Professor Einar Gjerstad, made a major contribution to Cypriot archaeology. The Swedish king participated in the last stage of the excavations.
After the death of his brother Lukas, Demetrios Z. Pierides, Consul for Austria, preserved the collection and handed it over to his son Zeno D. Pierides (1900-1967), the father of the current owner and founder of the Pierides Foundation.
Zeno D. Pierides also added to the collection the Roman glass and Medieval glazed pottery (Byzantine period) as well as an important collection of old Cyprus maps. Zeno served as Mayor of Larnaca, Vice President of the Greek Communal Chamber (Parliament), Consul General for Sweden and Consul for Germany. When Zeno died in 1967, his wife Theodora devoted herself to the upkeeping and preservation of the archaeological collection.
Theodora Z. Pierides was born in Nicosia in 1904 and died in 2001. She married Zeno D. Pierides in 1933 and after his death in 1967, she decided to open the collection of Cypriot antiquities to the people of Larnaca and the world. She renovated the family home in Larnaca and opened it as the Museum of the Pierides Foundation in 1974. The supervision of more than 2500 antiquities and 650 folk art exhibits has now passed to her son, Demetrios Z. Pierides.
Theodora Z. Pierides and Demetrios Z. Pierides II created the Pierides foundation in 1974, and they have undertaken a chronological classification of the antiquities. They added pottery from the Early and Middle Bronze Ages, pottery of the Cypro-Archaic period, Cypro-Classical statues and Attic vases. In addtion Chalcolithic red-on-white pottery, pendants and idols of steatite have been added by him. Demetrios continued the family tradition of representing Cyprus as Consul General in Sweden. Demetrios, along with his mother Theodora and his sister Lukia Pierides, have preserved for Cyprus and the world the archaeological treasures of Cyprus.
Today Lukia's grandson and Demetrios's grand nephew Peter H. Ashdjian, born in 1978, is currently in charge of the museum.