Leonardo da Vinci, Lefkara lace, Caterina Cornaro, Mona Lisa and Robinson Cyprus


Inspiration is the guiding idea to continue learning and connecting facts history left with us. Intuition is born when you combine curiosity with inspiration!
How are these five names connected?
First, to make a statement.
However today’s known history and today’s known science will react, or most probably ignore, I would like to make an assumption that Mona Lisa is Caterina Cornaro! It is an intuition that I am not prepared to trade for anything! However, certain events happened at a particular time that has somehow made me uneasy but sure that intuition is higher and more significant and ultimate human virtue than any definitions for history research. How comes that in 2013 lost Leonardo da Vinci mural has been found in a room of the Sforzesco Castle as per https://www.lagazzettadelmezzogiorno.it/news/english/500381/new-section-of-mural-by-leonardo-discovered-in-milan.html
and that at the same year, a priceless 500 years old portrait of an Italian noblewoman, Isabella d’Este, painted by Leonardo, was discovered as part of a private collection in a Swiss bank with Italian owners choosing to keep their identity a secret.
With two names, Caterina and Leonardo, connected, and me taking some weight off my soul due to the statement I wrote above, let me start the story that led to the intense feeling of enlightenment.
It was March 2020. First lockdown in Cyprus. I had a meeting with the new Robinson Club Resort designer to discuss her concept for the project and textile textures and colors to be introduced as decoration for the rooms. I had the pleasure to cooperate with her a year before, during the refurbishment of the vast restaurant and lobby at the same premises, then under another operator.
As soon as we started, Sophia shared her concept to connect the new Robinson Club with Leonardo Da Vinci’s visit to Cyprus and his visit to Lefkara village, where he discovered the famous Lefkara lace. To let you know that Robinson Club Cyprus is situated in the beautiful seaside of the Alaminos village, some 20 kilometers from Lefkara and built by the Muskis family, the owners of Four Seasons, and Amathus Beach Hotel in Limassol.
Hearing her idea, I got very excited as in April of 2018, I published a short article with the title “Leonardo da Vinci, Lefkara village lace and The Last Supper mural.” It was based on the quote I found in the book “Historic Cyprus,” published 14th of May 1936, by Rupert Forbes Gunnis, Eton College graduate English historian and a private secretary of Governor of Cyprus. He wrote on page 321:
“Leonardo da Vinci, when he visited the island( of Cyprus*)in 1481 purchased lace made at Lefkara for the altar cloth at Milan Cathedral.”
The idea I had then was to use my first and short article based on the above quote as an inspiration to investigate and write more about that extraordinary visit. I then had the same feeling and reported the following:
“I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future, technology finds out that the portrait of Caterina just recently presented to the public by Levendis museum in Nicosia or some other one waiting to be discovered had a “touch” of Leonardo da Vinci.” If you want to learn more about Caterina Cornaro, I strongly suggest visiting two museums in Nicosia.
“CVAR Severis” museum- cvar.severis.org and
Leventis Museum- leventismuseum.org

Sophia’s idea was the initiation I was looking for to continue.
Let me share with you a short history of Lefakara.
Mentioned first in 1134 in the testament of Saint Neophytos, born in the nearby village of Kato Drys, Lefkara village is situated in the mountains some 50 kilometers from Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, and 20 kilometers from the new Robinson Club Cyprus.
During the Franco Venetian rule of Cyprus, Lefkara has been used as a safe retreat oasis for women and children of the Venetians. They escaped Pirate raids of coastal towns of Famagusta, Morfou, Kyrenia, Limassol, etc.…
Having not much to do at the retreat of Lefkara, women practiced an abstruse form of unique needlework coming deep down the soul, making each lace a masterpiece of its own. That kind of work requires a lot of patience and concentration, focus, and a clear mind! It was the time when TV sets, mobile phones, and computers did not exist to distract people’s minds. The time when intuition was still sharp!
This is how the history of Lefkara lace was born!

In May of 2020, I visited Lefkara village three times till I found a suitable lace reflecting Sophia’s idea to present it to the owners of Robinson Club Cyprus.
After their meeting, that extraordinary lady informed me that they were impressed with an idea and approved it for the mockup room. The lace 20 x 20 cm, as an emblem, was introduced for the headboard. From there on, we were awaiting the decision if the lace will be a part of the rooms or part of the reception!
You can see the first lace below.

Empowered by the excitement and curiosity, I continued visiting Lefkara and walking through its narrow streets decorated with many different flowers, paintings, and even books. My feeling intensified by irradiating the old rocky houses conjuring the ancient atmosphere. Here you can test your soul. If it is positioned in the right place, one can sensate spirits wandering around to detect the visitor’s aim. If your soul is strolling without having the place to park itself and work clearly, you will be deprived of unique experiences. But for a curious truth seeker, that will give birth to the idea to revisit Lefkara.
I remembered that many historians did not confirm Leonardo da Vinci’s visit. While researching, I recalled my participation and the opportunity to ask eminent connoisseurs of Leonardo da Vinci’s work like Professor Seracini during his memorable lecture in October 2019, “Rediscovering Leonardo da Vinci: the secret lives of his paintings.”
Here are some photos were taken during the lecture of October 2019

I felt that politics might somehow keep Leonardo da Vinci’s stay in Cyprus under the veil of secrecy. Secrecy, which is transmuted to legend as beautiful, profound words of His Excellency the Italian Ambassador to Cyprus, Mr. Andrea Cavallari, conveyed at the opening of the lecture:
“The legend says that Leonardo da Vinci traveled to Cyprus and that he brought back to Italy a beautiful piece of embroidery from Lefkara village for the altar of the Duomo in Milano. I am sure that, 500 years later, the “piece of Leonardo” that Professor Seracini will bring to Cyprus will enlighten us on Leonardo’s struggle to expand the limits of human knowledge, combining as never before, hope and reason. May his work and research be an example for all of us,”
Common sense made me adopt a strong feeling that it was not only politics but also the financial interests of the leading players at the time that did not allow Caterina to get involved intimately with anyone, to be sure that the chances for an eventual new successor will be reduced to zero!
This assumption becomes more profound if you learn that Leonardo was 29 years old and Caterina 27 years of age at the time of his 1481 visit. To make my premise even more interesting, keep in mind that Queen Caterina lost her husband, King James I, suddenly in 1473, and her only son, King James III, slightly more than one year old, in 1474.
As Queen Caterina stayed without descendants and was under the constant pressure of Venice merchants, including her own family with vast business interests in Cyprus, she succumbed. In February of 1489, she finally ceded her rights to the doge of Venice. It is from then that Venice started ruling Cyprus till 1571 and the Ottoman’s invasion.

Imagination and intuition are genuine human qualities that can be diluted with different definitions, statistics, and many other restrictive men made manipulative rules. It is always a fantastic pleasure to feel that you are not affected by that!
So, let’s imagine Leonardo coming in 1481 to Cyprus and meeting Queen Caterina Cornaro. To greet him, she took him on a short visit to Lefkara village to feel the romantic and artistic atmosphere and boost his inspiration and her mood. Who does not like a passionate, young, enchanting artist! Especially when both were sharing the idea that people should be judged only by their virtues and not by their flaws.
Maybe Leonardo, impressed first with the beauty and manners of Queen Caterina and secondly by the quality and uniqueness of the laces he saw, conveyed to her that he will move to Milan next year to work as a painter and sculptor under the patronage of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. Then as a memory of the visit and his first encounter with Queen Caterina, he bought or was presented with an exceptional Lefkara lace!
No one can deny that love ignites people in the millisecond and opens all the pores! If we say that in love, one feels more than it should and suffers more than thinks, dreams more than lives, then it would be inevitable that Leonardo never forgot his Cyprus visit and, of course, Queen Caterina Cornaro!
You will read more about Leonardo and Caterina in the upcoming book “Quarantine Diaries and Beyond.”
Whatever they say about Leonardo’s affiliations and Caterina depressions, my intuition is making me shiver.
Lefkara generates that kind of atmosphere to make people want to connect! I felt it on my own skin!

To come, for the moment, to the present and recommend to the visitors of Robinson Club Cyprus to ask their hosts about Lefkara excursions! But, if you ever go to Lefkara, do not go only one time. Repeat the visits. As I already said, it is excellent for the soul! The first impression is essential, but you need to go several times to feel more. Lefkara has some force, some energy, some secrets that it is not revealing immediately. It waits for the repeated visitors, and then it chooses whom to target to enlighten further! If you feel something extraordinary after visiting Lefkara, be sure that when going back to your living place, you will take with you unique vibrations to use it, consciously or unconsciously, as a foundation for your advancement! In any field! Just imagine Leonardo da Vinci whose creativity rose to the stars after his visit to Lefkara. The period 1482-1500 and while he stayed in Milan “was the most fruitful of fully completed works and of other resumes later.”

While visiting Lefkara when there were no tourists, I had a human, genuine pleasure to meet many people. They all were an inspiration and somehow medium to sense that old, natural, unique excitability. That is how over the coffee at friendly and above all full of wise proverbs “Καφέ της παρέας” or “Companionship Coffee shop,” I first met Neofitos, the young and absolutely aware and aware owner and then all the others. It overwhelmed me with such a positive atmosphere and pure human smiles and hospitality that I wanted to stay for an extended period. It was another reminder that we are all good as humans. We just need initiation of positive vibes around us. One old but the well-aware and wise man paid for my coffee, and we exchanged thoughts learning that the nearby shop I visited was his and his wife and that he was a father of Mrs. Margarita, I will introduce to you later. Also, I met the husband of Mrs. Margarita as I ordered some more Lefkara lace to give an option to Sophia if she needed one.
At the time, I did not know whom I met and what kind of history that family carries, but I felt a complete, human, genuine trust!
We exchanged many opinions and shared as many life stories with the people there that will be revealed in another essay about innate human goodness!

This air of genuine hospitality has first initiated and then matured in me the idea that, in the end, the Mona Lisa may be Caterina Cornaro, the secret love of Leonardo da Vinci! Does not need to have the same face! The structure of both looks familiar, and we will never learn what and about whom Leonardo was thinking when painting the so-called Mona.
I could change maybe the saying that eyes do not lie to hands do not lie. Why? Guess by yourself.
You might think that I exaggerate, but when I took Mrs. Margarita’s unique, black lace, I felt Leonardo Spirit and another one mingling around whom I recognize as Knight without being able to identify the name!

How did I get the honor to be introduced to Mrs. Margarita’s unique lace?
Well, the Robinson Club Cyprus owners decided not to have the original Lefkara lace in each room, as it would be an issue for maintenance. Still, instead, they wanted to introduce more extensive lace, two of them at the resort’s reception.
So, the “usual suspect,” being me, was kindly asked to go again to Lefkara and organize the lace making. I accepted it with pleasure and went again to see my now dear friends and to order two pieces of 40×40 centimeters handmade original Lefkara lace!
I went to Mrs. Margarita’s shop, and after the designer Sophia’s approval, the deal was done! However, life always has surprises hidden in the sleeves!
While discussing the lace order, Mrs. Margarita informed me that one of the laces she made was selected by Michelangelo Foundation to participate in the Milan exhibition! She conveyed that certain Mr. Jean Blanchaert from the Cultural Council of the Michelangelo Foundation visited her and picked the lace!
As curious as I am, I said to dear Mrs. Margarita to bring the lace when I come to pick up the already ordered laces for Robinson Club Cyprus Resort.
Sometimes waiting for things to happen can result in stress, but I did not feel one as somehow tranquility and calmness overwhelmed me.
I think that I got in love with Lefkara, with Caterina and Leonardo and all the people I met there and about there!
If you agree with Plutarch that the soul of man in love lives in someone else’s body, I can say with all certainty that parts of me are left will all those beautiful people I met in person and spiritually!
A week passed, and it was the day to go and pick up the laces from Mrs.Margarita and meet the lace chosen by Michelangelo Foundation Cultural Council member Jean Blanchaert.
When I saw two laces ready, I was so proud to participate in this venture and highly grateful to work with Sophia Suri and to follow her idea till the end. You can see the photos of the identical laces ready to take place at the new Robinson Club Cyprus reception at Alaminos village.

Furthermore, Mrs. Margarita presented me with THE LACE and told me the story.
Before the story, I want to share with you, dear readers, the feeling I had when my hands took the lace! I felt that I went back like with the time machine being a knight wearing the same lace as an armor! The lace was different! It was black and cumbersome! It reflects security, pride, chivalry, humanism, and completely unexplainable passion and love!

That was the moment when I felt that Leonardo da Vinci is for the second time among Cypriots! That was the moment of awaking cognition, awareness that Leonardo loved Caterina and never stopped loving her in his own way!
Mrs. Margarita told me that it took her four months to finish the lace you see in the picture below and that her life motto was always to “challenge her efforts to be different and curious!”
That was precisely what Sophia was doing by suggesting Lefkara lace and Leonardo da Vinci’s story as an inspiration for the Robinson Cyprus project!
That is what the undersigned is following for a long time now!
If there is any conclusion to be made, it is that the people with the same vibration meet and cooperate smoothly, connecting their curiosity and passion for leaving something behind!

Tuesday 8th of June 2021

To be continued…

Part of the book “Quarantine Diaries and Beyond” by
Darko Richard Lancelot you can pre-order here https://philosophyofgoodnews.com/subscription-page/

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