Central banks’ art collections go digital

Most central banks collect paintings, sculptures and other works of art, some building impressive collections over the centuries.

While these artworks were traditionally only accessible in the banks’ buildings or in nearby museums, some central banks are now moving their exhibits online to make them widely known.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has adopted an undeniably multinational approach to collecting art. So far, the ECB’s collection contains 896 pieces, many of them by young, up-and-coming European artists. A large share of these pieces come from the long-standing tradition of hosting exhibitions highlighting contemporary art from EU member states. Every year, the ECB, in cooperation with the respective national central bank, displays artworks from an EU country in the historic part of its headquarters in Frankfurt.

Unfortunately, providing access to these artworks is not a simple task. For security reasons, visitors must register for tours in order to enter the ECB’s buildings and even then they can only enter certain areas.

The ECB says “we created the ECB Art App to make our collection more easily accessible to the public. Visitors can browse both thematic collections, for example on sustainability and European identity, or enjoy some of our recent country-specific exhibitions.”

In the section on Cyprus, there is the collection of works of art of the Central Bank and as it is noted, the works of the collection of the CBC compose an important artistic portrait of our place, presenting the course of the creators until their most recent artistic quests and revealing the influences in their work from the artistic scene of the countries in which they studied. This has always been a frequent phenomenon since the lack of an Academy of Fine Arts in Cyprus, something that still applies today, has resulted in Cypriots studying in many countries of the world, inevitably bringing back influences from the various artistic movements abroad, especially in recent years, from Europe.

The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) has been collecting works of art since its establishment in 1963. The collection currently comprises over 800 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints. The collection focuses on Cypriot art, but also includes works by international artists.

The CBC’s art collection is an important part of the bank’s cultural heritage. It reflects the bank’s commitment to promoting Cypriot art and culture, and to making art accessible to the public.

The CBC’s art collection is housed in the bank’s headquarters in Nicosia. The collection is not open to the public on a regular basis, but it is occasionally displayed in exhibitions at the bank’s headquarters and at other venues in Cyprus.

The CBC is also committed to making its art collection accessible online. The bank has a website that features a selection of works from the collection, as well as information about the artists and the works. The CBC also plans to develop an app that will allow visitors to explore the collection in more detail.

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