By Bejay Browne
A PROPOSAL to discuss renaming Paphos airport is due to be discussed at Monday night’s council meeting.
The Cyprus Tourist Enterprises Association (STEK), which represents four and five star hotels has proposed that both of the islands airports should be renamed after famous icons from each area.
Their suggestion is to rename the International airport of Paphos to – International Airport of Paphos – Aphrodite, and Larnaca to the International Airport – Zenon, respectively.
Aphrodite the goddess of love, is said to have been born and risen out of the sea at Petra tou Romiou in Paphos and the town became synonymous with worshipping the goddess in the ancient world.
Zenon of Kition/Citium (now Larnaca) was a Greek thinker and founded the Stoic school of philosophy, which flourished, and he taught in Athens from about 300 BC.
A spokeswoman for STEK said that the matter was proposed more than ten years ago, but that the optimum time to change the names was now, as would help to upgrade Cyprus’ tourisn product, and be completed ahead of Paphos Capital of Culture 2017.
She said: “We (STEK) believe that this move will contribute to the overall effort to promote our historical and cultural identity while (without any cost) it will help in promoting Cyprus as a destination for quality tourism.”
STEK represents a group of prominent hotels and tourist enterprises all over Cyprus, that share an aim to develop quality and sustainable tourism, she noted.
She added that the name change of ‘Zenon’ for Larnaca shows that Cyprus gave the world a great Stoic philosopher who influenced an entire philosophical movement which was dominant from the Hellenistic period through to the Roman era.
Similarly, she said that the name ‘Aphrodite’ for Paphos was chosen in order to promote that the goddess of beauty and love, as depicted in Greek mythology, was born in Cyprus.
According to the spokeswoman, STEK’s suggestion was welcomed by various ministers, political parties, and members of the parliament, mayors, tourism stakeholders and the president of Hermes.
However, not everyone is in agreement. A Paphos councillor, who wishes to remain unnamed ahead of Monday’s discussion, said that while the name of Zenon is fitting for Larnaca, as he was a famous philosopher, something more appropriate could be chosen for Paphos.
“Aphrodite is used commonly in Paphos and I think it’s a good thought, but a rather boring suggestion as we hear it a lot and I’m not a big fan of renaming the airport in this way. Maybe some other more appropriate name such as Kiniras, who was one of the Kings and one of the founders of Paphos would be more fitting.”
He added: “An airport is a mirror of a country and an entrance to it. Many countries have specifically named their airports, such as Greece and America. Even though it’s a small matter, it’s an important one and we mustn’t rush and pick a name.”
He added that he would give the matter further thought and discussion at the council meeting.