Cyprus Mail

Theatre being used by parliament a non-starter

The municipal theatre after the roof collapsed in 2008

It appeared on Tuesday that the House president’s plan to take over Nicosia’s derelict municipal theatre was a non-starter as a tender has already been awarded by the municipality to repair it to be used as was originally intended.

Speaking to Politis radio, Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis said the bid had already been awarded but the agreement had not been signed yet.

“The project is going ahead,” he said. “I believe it would be extremely difficult to change something at the moment.”

The budget for the project is around €14m.

The mayor said there was no question of parliament taking over the building and also argued that there was enough parking space in the surrounding area for theatregoers.

The lack of parking space was one argument used by House President Demetris Syllouris on Monday when he said that he was starting discussion on the need for larger premises for parliament, including extending its present site to incorporate the currently derelict municipal theatre next door.

Syllouris said both the state and the city of Nicosia would be better off if parliament took over the theatre once it had been suitably repaired.

The House president said any plans to reopen it as a theatre were wrong and mostly based on sentiment.

The theatre has no parking and it would create security problems for parliament that would have to be managed by redirecting traffic in the area, he said.

It is not the first time the proposal has been mooted in recent years following the collapse of the theatre’s roof almost 10 years ago.

The building lies just across from the Cyprus Museum and is next door to the House of Representatives.

The municipality had spent €5.6 million refurbishing the building only two-and-a-half years before the roof collapsed on June 11, 2008, just a day before hundreds of school children were to use the place for an end-of-year performance.

It has stood unused ever since and the courts have yet to decide whose fault it was.

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