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5 Pounds 1961. First issue, Cyprus

in Krause book Number: 40
Years of issue: 01.12.1961
Edition: 3 000 000
Signatures: Director: Christakis Costas Stephani
Serie: 1961 Issue
Specimen of: 01.12.1961
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 165 х 95
Printer: Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company Limited, New Malden

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 Pounds 1961. First issue




Head of eagle.

Most likely, this is the head of Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata or Hieraaetus fasciatus) - - the only species of eagle breeding in Cyprus!


5 Pounds 1961. First issue

lefkara lace embroidery

On the left side are the items of Lefkaria embroidery. In the background banknotes are also Lefkaria embroidery.

For embroidery, please read the description of the reverse of the banknote.

coat Cyprus

On the right side is the coat of arms.

The coat of arms of the Republic of Cyprus depicts a dove carrying an olive branch (a well-known symbol of peace) over “1960”, the year of Cypriot independence from British rule. The background is a copper-yellow colour; this symbolises the large deposits of copper ore on Cyprus (chiefly in the form of chalcopyrite, which is yellow in colour). The arms is not violating the rule of tincture, since the dove is not argent (silver) but blazoned as of the colour proper, i.e. it has the colour it would have in nature, in this case white.

The name of the bank in Greek and Turkish languages.

Lower right is the island of Cyprus.

Denominations in numerals are in top right and left corners. The date is in center.


5 Pounds 1961. First issue

lefkara lace embroidery lefkara lace embroidery

The “lefkaritiko” (lace embroidery of Lefkara) is the finest specimen that the needlecraft and the folklore tradition of Cyprus have to show.

It is embroidery of great value that reflects the dynamism, the sensitivity, and the power of observation of the woman of Cyprus. The skilful hands of the needlewoman manage to create perfect and artistically delivered designs upon the fabric, which not even the hand of the most skilful designer would have been able to deliver in such detail, grace, rhythm, and harmony.

All the designs of the lace embroideries from Lefkara are inspired by nature and the environment, receiving a characteristic form as the stitches are combined. Today’s lace embroideries of Lefkara have evolved to a great extend, other - more recent - elements having been added to the stereotyped, old decorative, geometrical motifs. So, a huge variety of embroideries with characteristic names such as «athasi» ("almond"), «margarita», «makoukoudi» (refers to a small weaving row), «mi me lismonei» ("forget me not"), «tagiada» (a basic pattern in weaving), «potamos» ("river"), «arvalotos» (latticed / riddled pattern), «klonotos» ("branched"), «ammatotosς» (with eye-shaped patterns), «arachnotos» ("spider-web"), «aplos» ("simple"), «diplos» ("double"), «karouli» ("bobbin"), «miloudi» ("small apple"), and many more swarm the local and foreign market and become the main source of income for the skilful female weaver of Lefkara - the «kentitria» - and the male embroideries’ merchant of Lefkara – the «kentitaris».

For the past century Lefkara have become world famous as the homeland of embroideries. Indeed, the peculiarities and the technique of the embroideries that are manufactured in Lefkara have contributed to shaping a form of needlecraft with a special style that has now been established and named as «Lefkaritiko Kentima» (Embroidery of Lefkara) or simply «Lefkaritiko». Unfortunately, many of the old designs have stopped being produced -because of the difficulty in execution and of the time necessary for their manufacture - at the risk of a complete disappearance of the traditional needlecraft’s technique.

Lefkara Lefkara Lefkara

Today’s ambition is to train and create perfect needlewomen by conveying in a simple manner the wealth of tradition, which was left as a legacy from generation to generation, and through everyone’s contribution to its continuance.

Through the embroideries of Lefkara that are extant, the continuation and the evolution of the "asproploumia" (white, embroidered ornaments with cotton thread) is made clearly visible.

The first embroideries of Lefkara are made with the same manufacture ingredients as the asproploumia, that is, they are made entirely of cotton coming from local, handmade, woven, thick fabric.

Later on the "kampri" (or "hases") was used - a thin, imported fabric – as well as the "bakaris", (cotton - thread - bobbin). Around 1913 they begin using the local, linen fabric from Zodia and Astromeritis and the linen threads, which they span and whitened for that purpose, when making the embroideries of Lefkara. Along with the use of linen, people in Lapithos and Karavas begin weaving ‘Lefkaritika’ using local, silk fabrics and with silk threads.

There is a diversification of the "Lefkaritiko" style in these designs. The silk embroideries are done with more "anevata", "gemota" designs (kind of satin-stitch embroidery that is more raveled) and are most suited for cutting and removing a small number of threads. In their final form the designs resemble the results of the "Lefkaritiko" style but present differences in the manner of their constitution. In the case of “straogazo” (kind of stitch without ravels), apart from the difference in technique, there is also a difference in the final result.

Lefkara Lefkara

In all the types of embroideries there is a uniformity of fabric and thread that creates a perfect joining of the materials with the embroidery

The first, old embroideries of Lefkara preserve the following elements that come from the asproploumia:

a. The various types of "gazia" - plural, "silk back-stitches" - ("Venetian", "paragazi" {side-stitch}, "donti tou kattou" {cat’s tooth}, and others), which are used only for the boundary setting and completion of the "ploumia" (ornaments).

b. The geometrical shapes that evolve and find a continuation through the more composite and complex designs, the “potamoi” (“rivers”).

c. The "kopta" (basic embroidery designs) that are enriched through new shapes in different sizes.

d. The stitches that are completed by new ones ("gemoti", "trypyti", "deti").

The various types of "gazia" done in the "asproploumia" and the lace embroideries of Lefkara are created by raveling threads in the woof or the warp of the fabric.


Depending on the design, the threads are separated into pairs, tied together or plaited. Their width ranges from 3 millimeters to two centimeters.

The "lefkaritiko" lace embroidery has its roots in the local, white embroideries or “asproploumia done with the needle”, embroideries manufactured throughout Cyprus – from Pafos to Karpasia.

Today the asproploumia are no longer produced and the old ones that are still extant are made of local, thick, cotton fabric that is hand-made and cotton threads, which they span for this purpose.

The designs of the asproploumia are simple, usually geometric, without any details. They are limited and the same ones are repeated throughout the whole range of the embroidery. Their main characteristic is the cutting and removal of threads from the fabric, the use of a limited number of stitches, and the making of "gazia" in a number of variations. The "gazia" usually end, complete, and set the boundaries of the designs in the asproploumia.

All these characteristics are transferred to the lace-embroideries of Lefkara, which start taking their own, particular form.

In Lefkara the technique of the asproploumia, which is improved and diversified according to the skillfulness of each needlewoman, is preserved.

At the same time, the lace-embroidery of Lefkara is also enriched by the technique of the «Venise» lace, which becomes known in Cyprus during the era of the Venetian Domination (1489-1571). Through this lace-technique the needlewomen of Lefkara create designs upon the cut fabric and change them – so as to adapt them to the area upon which they will weave, in accordance with their imagination, their artistry, and their skillfulness. In this manner, designs are created that are unique. These designs are named "pittota" and they include the "gyroulota" ("circular"), the "liminota" ("striped"), and the "kappoudes".

Of course, apart from creating the lace inside the "kopta" openings (openings for ornaments made in a special way) on the fabric, they also placed laces upon the fabric that they stitched separately.

With the rich experience acquired through the "asproploumia", the emergence of lace, its application onto the fabric, and the addition of new "gemota" design elements – taken from nature and the environment – the "lefkaritiko" lace embroidery comes to life.

Starting from Lefkara, the small village of the Larnaca district from which the lace embroideries took their name, they become known in a number of countries.

According to tradition, the renowned painter of the Renaissance, Leonardo Da Vinci, visited Cyprus during this era and took with him a lace embroidery when he left, which he gave as a gift for the High Altar of the «Duomo» Cathedral of Milan.

This tradition was kept until today and came to life again on the 19th of October 1986. On this day of the main altar’s consecration in the «Duomo» Cathedral in Milan, the Community of Lefkara donated an embroidered tablecloth that was made in Lefkara, in memory and as a continuation of this tradition. Through this event, tradition is linked to the present reality.

By the end of the previous century the inhabitants of Lefkara visit the cities of neighboring countries, wherever the Greek element was present - Alexandria, Cairo, Smyrna (Izmir), Constantinople – and make the lave embroideries of Lefkara known. Through Greece they are transferred throughout Europe, in the Scandinavian countries, and in America. The merchants of Lefkara – "kentitarides" - traveled to or stayed in Europe and roamed from house to house, selling and making their embroideries known, while the needlewomen of Lefkara – “ploumarisses” – remained in the village, organizing the production.

In this way their name becomes well known and the lace embroideries of Lefkara reach – in the beginning of the century, from 1900 until 1930 – a point of perfection in terms of the combination of technique and the end result. (

Denomination in words is in lower left corner.


The British introduced the pound sterling unit to Cyprus in 1879 at a rate of one to 180 Turkish piastres. It remained equal in value to the pound sterling until 1972 and was initially divided into 20 shillings (σελίνι / σελίνια, şilin). The shilling was divided into 9 piastres (γρόσι / γρόσια, kuruş), thus establishing a nomenclature link to the previous currency. The piastre was itself divided into 40 para (like the kuruş). The para denomination did not appear on any coins or banknotes but was used on postage stamps.

In 1955, Cyprus decimalized with 1000 mils (μιλς, mil) to the pound. Colloquially, the 5 mil coin was known as a "piastre" (not an exact equivalence) and the 50 mil coin as a "shilling" (an exact equivalence). The subdivision was changed to 100 cents (σεντ, sent) to the pound on 3 October 1983. At that time, the smallest coin still in circulation was that of 5 mils. This was renamed as ½ cent, but soon was abolished. Mil-denominated coins are no longer legal tender.

Βαρώσια Βαρώσια Βαρώσια

Varosha (Greek: Βαρώσια; Turkish: Maraş or Kapalı Maraş) is an abandoned southern quarter of the Cypriot city of Famagusta. Before 1974, it was the modern tourist area of the city. Its inhabitants fled during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, when the city of Famagusta came under Turkish control, and it has remained abandoned ever since. As of 2021, the quarter continues to be uninhabited; buildings have decayed, and, in some cases, their contents have been looted over the years; some streets have been overgrown with vegetation; and the quarter is generally described as a ghost town. Entry is partly open to the public.

Βαρώσια Βαρώσια Βαρώσια

The name of Varosha derives from the Turkish word varoş (Ottoman Turkish: واروش‎, 'suburb'). The walled city of Famagusta was a precious and popular area before almost 100 years ago. The place where Varosha is located now was empty fields in which animals grazed. Ottoman Turks used the word varoş as the neighborhood just outside the castles.

In the early 1970s, Famagusta was the number-one tourist destination in Cyprus. To cater for the increasing number of tourists, many new high-rise buildings and hotels were constructed. During its heyday, Varosha was not only the number-one tourist destination in Cyprus, but between 1970 and 1974, it was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and was a favourite destination of celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Raquel Welch, and Brigitte Bardot.

Βαρώσια Βαρώσια Βαρώσια

In August 1974, the Turkish Army advanced as far as the Green Line, which is the present day border between the two communities. Just hours before the Greek Cypriot and Turkish armies met in combat on the streets of Famagusta, the entire population fled, fearing a massacre. The evacuation was aided and orchestrated by the nearby British military base. Many refugees fled south to Paralimni, Dherynia, and Larnaca. Paralimni has since become the modern day capital of the Famagusta province.

The Turkish Army seized control and fenced the area. Since then, no entry has been allowed other than Turkish military and United Nations personnel.

One such settlement plan was the Annan Plan to reunify the island that provided for the return of Varosha to the original residents. But this was rejected by Greek Cypriots in a 2004 referendum. The UN Security Council Resolution 550 states that it "considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the United Nations".

The European Court of Human Rights awarded between €100,000 and €8,000,000 to eight Greek Cypriots for being deprived of their homes and properties as a result of the 1974 invasion. The case was filed jointly by businessman Constantinos Lordos and others, with the principal judgement in the Lordos case dating back to November 2010. The court ruled that, in the case of eight of the applicants, Turkey had violated Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights on the right of peaceful enjoyment of one's possessions, and in the case of seven of the applicants, Turkey had violated Article 8 on the right to respect for private and family life.

Βαρώσια Βαρώσια Βαρώσια

In the absence of human habitation and maintenance, buildings continue to decay. Over time, parts of the city have begun to be reclaimed by nature as metal corrodes, windows are broken, and plants work their roots into the walls and pavement and grow wild in old window boxes. In 2014, the BBC reported that sea turtles were observed nesting on the beaches in the city.

During the Cyprus Missile Crisis (1997-1998), the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktaş, threatened to take over Varosha if the Cypriot government did not back down.

Βαρώσια Βαρώσια Βαρώσια

The main features of Varosha included John F. Kennedy Avenue, a street which ran from close to the port of Famagusta, through Varosha and parallel to Glossa beach. Along JFK Avenue, there were many well known high rise hotels including the King George Hotel, The Asterias Hotel, The Grecian Hotel, The Florida Hotel, and The Argo Hotel which was the favourite hotel of Elizabeth Taylor. The Argo Hotel is located near the end of JFK Avenue, looking towards Protaras and Fig Tree Bay. Another major street in Varosha was Leonidas (Greek: Λεωνίδας), a major street that came off JFK Avenue and headed west towards Vienna Corner. Leonidas was a major shopping and leisure street in Varosha, consisting of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and a Toyota car dealership.

According to Greek Cypriots, 425 plots exist on the Varosha beach front, which extends from the Contandia hotel to the Golden Sands hotel. The complete number of plots in Varosha are 6082.

There are 281 cases of Greek Cypriots who filed to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) of Northern Cyprus for compensation.

In 2020, Greek Cypriot Demetrios Hadjihambis opened a case against the state of Cyprus in Republic of Cyprus. He sought state compensation for financial losses.


The population of Varosha was 226 in the 2011 Northern Cyprus census.

In 2017, Varosha's beach was opened to be exclusively used by Turks (Turkish Cypriots and Turkish nationals).

In 2019, the Government of Northern Cyprus announced it would open Varosha to settlement. On 14 November 2019, Ersin Tatar, the prime minister of Northern Cyprus, announced that Northern Cyprus aims to open Varosha by the end of 2020.

On 25 July 2019, Varosha Inventory Commission of Northern Cyprus started its inventory analysis on the buildings and other infrastructure in Varosha.

On 9 December 2019, Ibrahim Benter, the Director-General of the Turkish Cypriot EVKAF religious foundation's administration, said that all of Maraş/Varosha is the property of the EVKAF foundation. Benter said "EVKAF can sign renting contracts with Greek Cypriots if they accept that the fenced-off town belongs to the Evkaf."

In 2019-2020, inventory studies of buildings by the Government of Northern Cyprus was concluded.

On 15 February 2020, the Turkish Bar Association organised a round table meeting at the Sandy Beach Hotel in Varosha, which was attended by Turkish officials (Vice President Fuat Oktay and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül), Turkish Cypriot officials, representatives of the Turkish Cypriot religious foundation Evkaf, and Turkish and Turkish Cypriot lawyers.

On 22 February 2020, Cyprus declared it will veto European Union funds to Turkish Cypriots if Varosha opens to settlement.

On 6 October 2020, Ersin Tatar, the Prime Minister of Northern Cyprus, announced that the beach area of Varosha would reopen to the public on 8 October 2020. The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey fully supported the decision. The move came ahead of the 2020 Northern Cypriot presidential election, in which Tatar was a candidate. Deputy Prime Minister Kudret Özersay, who had worked on the reopening previously, said that this was not a full reopening of the area, that this was just a unilateral election stunt by Tatar. His People's Party withdrew from the Tatar cabinet, leading to the collapse of the Turkish Cypriot government. The EU’s diplomatic chief condemned the plan and described it as a “serious violation” of the U.N. ceasefire agreement. In addition, he asked Turkey to stop this activity. The U.N. Secretary-General expressed concern over Turkey’s decision.

On 8 October 2020, some parts of the Varosha were opened to all. The opened parts are from the Officers' Club of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot Army to Golden Sands Hotel.

In November 2020, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkey’s ambassador to Nicosia, visited Varosha. In addition, the main avenue in Varosha has been renamed after Semih Sancar, Chief of the General Staff of Turkey from 1973 to 1978, a period including the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The European Parliament on 27 November, asked Turkey to reverse its decision to re-open part of Varosha and resume negotiations aimed at resolving the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation and called on the European Union to impose sanctions against Turkey, if things do not change. Turkey rejected the resolution, adding that Turkey will continue to protect both its own rights and those of Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus presidency also condemned the resolution.

On 20 July 2021, Tatar, the president of Northern Cyprus announced the start of the 2nd phase of the opening of Varosha. He encouraged Greek Cypriots to apply Immovable Property Commission of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to claim their properties back if they have any such rights.

On 23 July 2021, Bilal Aga Mosque, constructed in 1821 and stopped to serve in 1974, was re-opened to the service.

In response to a decision by the government of Turkish Cyprus, the presidential statement of the United Nations Security Council dated on 23 July said that settling any part of the abandoned Cypriot suburb of Varosha, “by people other than its inhabitants, is "inadmissible". Just at the same day, Turkey rejected the presidential statement of the UNSC on Maras (Varosha), and said that these statements based on Greek-Greek Cypriot black propaganda, are groundless and unfounded claims, and inconsistent with the realities on the Island. On 24 July 2021, the presidency of Northern Cyprus condemned the presidential statement of the UNSC dated on 23 July, and stated that "We see and condemn it as an attempt to create an obstacle for the property-rights-holders in Varosha to achieve their rights".