The World of Dinosaurs at Tsirides Foundation Nicosia

Hello everybody,

Where do they hide the Dinosaurs in Cyprus? Did anybody see them? I was lucky, because I had the chance to meet Mr. Angelos Tsirides and he told me the secret to be told to all the children in Cyprus. Dear kids, all the Dinosaurs in Cyprus are in Tsirides Foundation in Nicosia. The most fascinating world, the world of natural history is waiting all the children to be discovered, appreciated as this is a place which gives life to passion.
Mr. Angelos Tsirides passion is to find and to collect and fossils, minerals, meteorites and antiquities and it's accomplishment will be to open the First Museum of World Natural History here in Cyprus.

Izzy: Dear Mr. Angelos thank you very much for this opportunity you offered to all the children to discover a little bit of the world natural history in Nicosia. What can you tell us about you and how did this passion developed?
Angelos Tsirides:
To start with, this is a hobby that started long time ago. By profession I am Civil Engineer and I am the Managing Director of Tsircon Company, which is a trading and manufacturing company of building materials.
My interest in fossils started when for the first time I was told that animals existed millions of years before the humans.
I was interested to find out about the creation of life since the age of 14 so this inspired me to search further to find out how everything was created. This passion drove me to become a collector.

Izzy: I know you have three big children. Did they inspire you in the choices that you made in your life and in the decision to open the Tsirides Fondation and how?
A.T.: The greatest inspiration come to me from my second daughter when she was about 12 years old and asked me who and what is god. Of course studying the evolution through fossils along with other experiences in my life, I tried to answer her question. My answer was a surprise to me as it was for everybody else. This answer is in the book I wrote later “Light on the Unexplained”.
Establishing the Tsirides Foundation was the will of all my daughters and we all mutually agreed that this collection should be shared with everybody and not only the family.

Izzy: What the Tsirides Foundation has to offer to the little guests and how it can open their appetite to learn about the fascinating world of natural history? What is the most important piece of the museum?
A.T.: The Tsirides Foundation offers knowledge and through knowledge characters are developed. For example when they look at an animal million years old and they are told that that through evolution it led gradually to the human race, they learn to respect more the animals since, in a way, they are our ancestors. Also they learn to respect one another since we are all relatives coming from the same origin.
Further to this, they will be fascinated with animals like the dinosaurs, early birds and other varieties which now do not exist. They will also witness the amazing beauty and colors of minerals, most of which they may not see anywhere else.
There are many important exhibits in the Museum but children are fascinated with two complete Dinosaurs, the skull of a very big one and a nest with dinosaur eggs.

Izzy: Dinosaurs are the most intriguing animals that they ever exist it on our planet. Children love dinosaurs. Tsirides Fondation is the only one in Cyprus that is able to introduce this world to the kids. What you can tell us about this extraordinary opportunity and also about your annually event concerning Dinosaurs?
A.T.: It is really a great opportunity not only for the children but also for the adults to see real dinosaurs. As you may know, in most Museums they usually exhibit copies. In our Museum all the exhibits are original fossils.
Once a year, on the second Sunday of October, we organize a big event at Tsircon premises, next to Leroy Merlin, where we display the very big fossils and minerals of our collection which cannot be displayed in our Museum because of their big sizes. For this year, the event will take place on the 12th of October from 9:00am to 6:00pm. Among the exhibits that the visitor can see, will be the skull of Tyrannosaurus Rex, the skeleton of a Pigmy Hippopotamus from Cyprus, a flying bird (Pterosaur) of 6m wing span with a fish in its throat. Also there will be one huge Glyptodon which is very impressive and other fascinating fossils and minerals.
We will also have games for children like Treasure Hunting, decorating dinosaur cookies, making dinosaur footprints and others related to the same subject.
Parents and children will also have the opportunity to find their own fish fossil by splitting stones containing fossils and discover the hidden beauty of geode agates by cracking them.
The entrance is free and there will be a bazaar for those that would like to buy real fossils & minerals.

Izzy: At Tsirides Foundation we will be able to see also meteorites. What makes them special and which one is the most attractive and of course … is there any story behind it?
A.T.: Meteorites are objects that have traveled in space and have fallen on the earth. We have meteorites that have fallen on different parts of the world but the most important is a small piece of meteorite from Mars. The amazing thing is that it has fallen in 2011 in Morocco and this rain of meteorites has been witnessed by people. Another important Meteorite is a big one 26 kg weight that has fallen in Namibia.

Izzy:What educational programs and activities can be enjoyed by the children who choose to visit the Museum?
A.T.: There is a guided tour and children will get a “Certificate” for attending this tour.

Izzy: Is there any shop at the museum and what can be found inside to entertain the little minds?
A.T.: At this Museum you can buy some books, but we have a big shop not so far from the Museum at Stavrou Avenue no. 96H where they can buy fossils, minerals, meteorites and many other educational items such as excavating kits with real fossils, shark teeth collection boxes, fossil collection bags, etc. They can also admire the skeleton of a huge cave bear from the Ice Age that belongs to the Tsirides Foundation.

Similar items can be found on the 1st floor at My Mall in Limassol and the 1st floor at King’s Avenue Mall in Paphos.

Izzy: Thank you very much for this opportunity and I hope that interested people that would like to visit your museum will take some time before visiting it to read the information on this article and even better to read also every information on Tsirides website. They should take time and introduce the museum to their kids before visiting. This will raise their interested in each piece and make them more concentrated and more willing to get involved in this wonderful visit. Before we conclude as is the tradition of our website I would appreciate to share whit us a story or a piece of experience from your life for our kids and parents.
A.T.: I am an animal lover and I keep around 40 cats in the garden of our premises. Sometimes pregnant cats choose to give birth inside the building. One of them chose to give birth inside my office. So when the kiddies started moving around in my office, I witness a very interesting experience. The mother of the kiddies was in the kitchen with my wife, which is on the ground floor about 60 m away from my office, which is on the first floor. My wife, as she used to do before the cat gave birth, prepared a small ball with aluminum foil and threw it in front of her with the intention that she will play as she used to do. To our astonishment, she picked up the ball with her mouth and walked all the way to the stairs, climbed the staircase and went to my office and when the kiddies surrounded her, she dropped the ball in front of them. When they started playing she jointed up with them. For me, this surpasses most of human behavior and I learned to respect even more the feelings of animals.

Lots of sunny days from Izzy the Cypriot Lizard!

Tsirides Foundation

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Friday: 10:00am – 1:00pm & 2:30pm - 4:30pm
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00am – 4:30pm
Address: 120A+B Strovolos Avenue, Nicosia, Cyprus
Entry fee: €2 for children & €5 for adults
Contact person: Mrs. Loulla Roubina
Phone no: 00 357 22312676
Facebook: ΤσιρίδειονΙδρυμα

Part of the pictures used in this article were made by The English Nursery School in Nicosia