Mercoledì, 29 Novembre 2023

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Cyprus 2030, in the race Larnaca, Nicosia, Ayia Napa and Limassol

Cipro, Sculpture park Cipro, Sculpture park Photo by dimitri svetsikas/Pexels

In 2030 there will be three countries to designate the European Capital of Culture: Cyprus, Belgium and one of the candidate countries to join the European Union.

With an online petition launched by Ecocnews and which to date has collected around 280 signatures from all over Europe, we have asked the European Union to designate, exceptionally, for 2030, a fourth country, Ukraine, for the reasons we all know. The petition is still open and if you share it, we ask you to sign it and spread this collection of signatures.

Meanwhile, some candidate cities are already emerging. For Cyprus, there are currently three candidate cities: Larnaca, Nicosia and Limassol. In recent weeks, another candidate city, Ayia Napa, has been added.

Larnaca (Larnarka) is a port city on the south coast of Cyprus. It's known for Finikoudes Beach, a sandy strip in the city center backed by a palm-lined seaside promenade. Buzzing bars line the waterfront at Mackenzie Beach. Just offshore, the MS Zenobia wreck is a popular dive site. The 9th-century Church of Saint Lazarus contains the tomb of the saint said to have risen from the dead. 

The nomination of the European Capital of Culture for 2030, wants to be received by Larnaca, which aspires to become the second city in Cyprus, after Paphos in 2017, to "catch" this ambitious goal.

The processes are feverish by the Municipality of Larnaca and other people of the city, who want, at all costs, the valuable title, which will bring huge cultural, tourist and economic benefits to the city. The intention is to start drawing up the strategic plan of the candidacy immediately, which will be submitted to the relevant EU bodies in 2024, with the final selection being made a year later.

The non-profit company, "European Capital of Culture Organization, Larnaca 2030", is already under establishment, which will "run" the procedures. President of the Company's Board of Directors, the entrepreneur and President of the Larnaca Tourism Development Company (ETAP), Dinos Lefkaritis, Spyros Pisnon as general director and Kelly Diapoulis as artistic director.

If Larnaca manages to get the nomination of The European Capital of Culture, the changes in the city will be huge since the infrastructure that will be created will come to be added to the major projects that are planned.

By then, the first phase of the unified development of the port and the marina, which is the largest investment in Cyprus, will have been completed, while the picture on the Larnaca - Dhekelia road will have changed drastically, where, after the movement of the oil tanks, investments of hundreds of millions are planned.

Nicosia too has been nominated for the European Capital of Culture 2030 title. The Nicosia For Art company has been tasked with preparing and submitting the application by the decision of the City Council. Nicosia had previously competed for the title in 2017, but it was awarded to Paphos instead.

Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia, is the divided capital city of Cyprus. South of the border, on the Greek side, the Cyprus Museum has archaeological finds from the Neolithic to Byzantine periods, including the Aphrodite of Soloi statue. Nearby, the old city’s 16th-century Venetian walls include the Famagusta, Kyrenia and Paphos gates. Inside the walls, a marble mausoleum sits next to 19th-century Faneromeni Church.

Limassol established the "European Capital of Culture - Limassol 2030" with Dr. Pitta as chairman and Georgia Decher as vice-chairman who was the artistic director of Pafos 2017. The position of artistic director has been advertised but not yet filled.

Limassol is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus. It’s known for the centuries-old Limassol Castle, home to the Cyprus Medieval Museum and its collection of pottery and tombstones. On the seafront is the Prokymea (Molos) Sculpture Park, with sculptures by Cypriot, Greek and international artists. To the northeast is the Limassol Archaeological Museum, exhibiting artifacts from the Neolithic to the Roman periods.

Ayia Napa is a Mediterranean resort town on the southeast coast of Cyprus, known for its beaches. The town's main landmark is the storied, Venetian-era Ayia Napa Monastery, which stands in the central square of Plateia Seferi, surrounded by bars and clubs. Freshly caught seafood is served at Ayia Napa Harbour’s busy tavernas, while adjoining Pantachou Beach offers a stretch of golden sand.

The dossier will be submitted by 2024 and the short list will be announced in 2025, after which the European Capital of Culture will be named.

In the coming weeks Ecocnews will interview the teams of the three candidate cities as it has done for all previous European Capitals of Culture.

Serafino Paternoster

Ecocnews Founder, Journalist, repentant jazz guitarist, music critic and film lover.