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The Cyprus College of Art was founded in 1969 by the Cypriot painter Stass Paraskos, and is the oldest art college on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

The college was originally based in the town of Famagusta but, after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, it was forced to move to the town of Kato Paphos. It remained here until 1985, when the Cyprus Ministry of Education granted it use of a former school building in the village of Lempa, four kilometres north of Paphos.

The first programme offered by the college was the Cyprus Summer School, now renamed the Cyprus Summer Studio, which gave mainly British and Irish art students an opportunity to spend a period of time making art in Cyprus. In the early 1970s the college intended to launch a postgraduate fine art programme, but this was delayed by the Turkish invasion in 1974, and did not start until 1978. The Postgraduate Diploma Course in Fine Art is now the college's most popular programme, attracting a wide range of students from all over the world.

In 2002 the College gained additional premises in Limassol and it used this as an opportunity to launch several undergraduate fine art programmes. This included foundation, adult education and degree courses in painting, sculpture, photography and printmaking. Almost all of the programmes taught at the College follow a British art education model, and several are validated in the United Kingdom by the British validation agency ASET. In 2007 the College's Limassol site was closed and teaching transferred to a new building in Larnaca, a city located on the south-east coast of Cyprus. The sites at Lempa and at Larnaca are now the only teaching locations for the Cyprus College of Art, with Lempa concentrating of postgraduate programmes and Larnaca on foundation and undergraduate.

Over the years many well-known artists have studied, taught and worked at the college, including Sir Terry Frost, Lisa Ashcroft, Euan Uglow, Jennifer Durrant, Mali Morris, Rachel Whiteread, Dennis Creffield, Ricky Wilson (British musician) and Steve Whitehead. Although most students still come from outside Cyprus, mainly from Europe and North America, from 2000 the college began to encourage more Cypriot students to apply, particularly for its undergraduate courses.

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