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Cyprus report Cyprus report
by Euro Reporter
2010-10-01 09:25:50
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Celebrations planned to mark the 50th anniversary of Cyprus’ formal declaration of independence have been scaled back, both within Cyprus and internationally, on account of the economic crisis.

Nevertheless, a number of events with a “high cultural profile” have been planned.

“On account of the economic crisis, all celebrations have been severely curtailed,” said Giorgos Giorgis, former ambassador to Athens and the man in charge of the celebrations.

On the island, around four major events have been scheduled, the most prominent of which is to be an October 1 celebration at Eleftheria Stadium in Nicosia.

The event will be attended by President Demetris Christofias and a number of other dignitaries. While the full plans have yet to be finalised, a number of Cypriot artists and musicians have been slated for the programme which will involve musical and cultural presentations and also incorporate a political dimension.

Many smaller festivities are also planned around the island.

The government has also scheduled cultural performances and social receptions internationally to celebrate the anniversary. In London, the event is scheduled to take place at Lancaster House, the location of the signing of the Zurich agreement which started the process of the legal ratification of Cypriot independence.

A speech, most probably to be given by President Christofias, is to be followed by a music recital and a reception.

Events are also planned in Brussels (art exhibition and concert), Moscow (currently unconfirmed), Athens (theatre performance by THOK) and Paris (art exhibition).

The Ministry of Education and Culture has received a large number of suggestions from members of Cyprus’ artistic and cultural communities as to how best to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

“Without a doubt, independence [came as] a result of the EOKA campaign, this cannot be disputed. But nobody wanted it at the time and we appreciated its value only after 1974,” said Giorgis of the October anniversary.

Despite the declaration of independence having occurred on August 16, the formal celebrations planned for the 50th anniversary are not scheduled to begin until September, as most people are expected to be on holiday during August.

According to Andy Bargilly, cultural co-ordinator of the celebrations for the ministry, the events will “in all cases feature Cypriot artists and performers in co-operation with internationally renowned orchestras and personalities”.

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