The Embassy of Cyprus issued a news release condemning the decision of Biblical Archaeology Society, although thousands of tourists from Turkey regularly enter from northern Cyprus. Faculty members of the University of Cyprus protested our decision. A Greek Cypriot newspaper reported on the “pressure against the Biblical Archaeology Society.” The American Hellenic Institute organized a letter-writing campaign and a protest petition signed by more than 2,000 people. The Embassy of Greece wrote of its chagrin that Biblical Archaeology Society, “a renowned and well respected organization,” would do this. We were warned that if we proceeded, we might be met with “hostility” at Paphos, a popular archaeological site in the south. Then we received reports that our bus would be blocked shortly after it entered southern Cyprus. Another e-mail advised us that the bus would be released after being held for a day.
Well, it’s not like the BAS seeks a low profile anyway. . . .