A memorial service in memory of EOKA founder George Grivas in Limassol was marred on Sunday after vandals spray painted and defaced his statue overnight, organisers said.
The president of the ‘General George Grivas Dighenis’ foundation of the Monument Avgerinos Papares said the vandals “wrote insulting slogans against Digehnis and desecrated the monument”. It was cleaned up by the municipality before the event.
“This is a great sacrilege which we condemn from the depths of our souls,” he was quoted as saying by the Cyprus News Agency. “We are in a crucial period for the solution of the Cyprus problem and instead pulling together to find a peaceful solution, divisive passions persist”.
The president of the Greek branch of the foundation Spyros Demetriou said: “There are anti-Greek elements in Cyprus. This racism against the Greeks.”
Sunday’s memorial was presided over by Limassol Bishop Athanasios, at the Church of Ayios Nikolaos. The government was represented by the Minister of Justice and Public Order, Ionas Nicolaou. The memorial was also attended by DISY leader Averof Neophytou. The church service was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony.
Members of far-right group ELAM were also at the event under the watchful eye of a strong police presence. They shouted slogans against a bizonal bicommunal federation, CNA said.