President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday unveiled the emblem of the Republic of Cyprus on the façade of the presidential palace, “settling a debt towards history and democracy” on the 53rd anniversary of independence.
Anastasiades said the installation of the emblem of the Republic of Cyprus at the Presidential Palace, “the temple of democracy”, was not only his own wish, but also the request of many citizens.
“Today, we settle a debt towards history and democracy,” the president said. “Without intervening with the architecture or altering the character and history of the building, and with respect to the site’s cultural continuance, we are raising the symbol of the Republic of Cyprus, whose independence constitutes the Cypriot people’s biggest conquest.”
The presidential palace was built by the British in the late 30s. Originally named government house, it changed to presidential palace in 1960, the year Cyprus became independent,
One of its main features is the British coat-of-arms in the middle of the façade, which many people wanted removed throughout the years. The emblem of the Republic sits higher.
The building, Anastasiades said, reflects the history, culture, and tradition of Cyprus, and it would be inconceivable for the emblem of the Republic to be absent.
The palace encompasses Byzantine, Gothic, Greek, and other elements linked to the island’s history.
It was almost razed during the July 15, 1974 coup to overthrow president Makarios and was rebuilt by 1977 – some bullet holes and walls blackened by fire were left untouched to remind people of the attack.