Work to clean up Kato Paphos was bought to a grinding halt on Thursday morning after the discovery of two ancient tombs in the heart of the area.
Paphos municipality employees were carrying out work to remove illegal buildings, clear rubbish and generally tidy up the area as part of the mayor’s campaign to present a better image, when they made the discovery.
The tombs were discovered at the previous site of Splash, situated between Ayiou Antoniou (Bar) Street and Poseidonos Avenue, which operated as an outdoor bar.
According to workers at the site, they immediately told private workmen, also at the site undertaking work for the bar owner, to cease work and leave until the authorities decide what action to take.
Earlier this year, the bar was torched and police said the 20-by-20 metre wood and metal structure was completely destroyed by a deliberately set fire.
Once uncovered, it was obvious that the tomb had previously been discovered, as a stone placed above it clearly writes ‘TOMB’ in English.
An archaeologist from the Department of Antiquities confirmed to the Cyprus Mail that the tomb is not a new discovery and that it was found more than 30 years ago.
“This tomb was uncovered in the past, in the 1980s and there are numerous tombs like this in Kato Paphos. It was covered over, as many of them are. There are so many tombs along that road, and it’s nothing new, and this is not a new find.”
However, work at the site had to stop for authorities to visit it and determine what action could be taken.
A municipality worker said: “We were doing some work here, we found these two tombs and stopped immediately and also told the others to stop as well. We’re not allowed to go down into the tomb and are waiting for the mayor or a representative to visit the site and tell us what to do.”
Recently, six tombs were uncovered during upgrading works in the area. Tombs were found close to the police station and then next to the kafenio, opposite the town hall.
The spokesman for the municipality said: “This kind of thing can be found everywhere in Paphos, but it’s strange that it was discovered and presumably offered as an attraction and then covered over. It would be better to keep it visible and covered with a special glass, so that visitors may also see.”