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Archbishop to proceed with controversial plan to develop resort on ancient site

 

December 2019
Nicosia: Green Party leader Yiorgos Perdikis and Transport Minister Vasiliki Anastasiadou clashed on Thursday over excavations of an ancient site at Yeroskipou - in Paphos.
The Yeroskipou site belongs to the church and the archbishop wants to develop the area but postponed his plans after the unexpected antiquities’ discovery.
Anastasiadou told MPs at a House transport committee meeting that the excavations had been completed. Her comment was contradicted by Perdikis who said he had contacted Marina Solomidou, head of the antiquities department a few weeks ago.
Solomidou said that she had spoken to the archbishop who gave the green light for the excavations to proceed.
The government is expected to explain how it will assist the archbishop’s plans to develop the area after refusing to swap the piece of land for another nearby to protect the site of significant archaeological interest. The plans foresee the construction of a tourist resort of two tower blocks and a hotel.
An Akel-led protest took place in September against the church’s plans to build on the archaeological site. Demonstrators argued that cultural heritage belongs to the people and demanded an alternative management of the location by the state.
The Cyprus Archdiocese has been investing heavily in the island’s hotel industry in the post 1974 era making it the most profitable corporation on the island and the second largest employer after the state. It refuses however to pay the salaries of its priests and insists they continue to be paid by the state at the expense of the tax payer.

 

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