By Bejay Browne
TWO historical buildings in Paphos have been given a new lease of life and will be left as a legacy of Pafos2017, the town’s culture capital title, for years to come, according to the projects’ architect.
The Shelley residence and the old Sodap ice factory are being tidied up on a minimal budget for the present, but Lanitis Bros – major sponsors of Pafos2017 – will foot the bill for the complete renovation of both buildings in the future
“These spaces were selected by the Pafos2017 organisation in order to be used as venues for hosting events, therefore we strongly feel that they are part of the Pafos2017 legacy programme,” said architect Valentinos Stefanou, who is also an event organiser for Pafos2017,
Although the present budget for each building is small, less than two thousand euros, it will take two months to clean up the old Sodap ice factory and four months for the Shelley residence, as the project is reliant on municipal staff, said Stefanou.
He added that work, which is purely cosmetic at this stage, will include clearing and tidying outside areas, interior rooms and installing new lighting where needed.
“Both projects were implemented by the services of Paphos municipality and the Pafos2017 contribution and it’s a small amount and obviously won’t mean they can be fully renovated right now,” he said.
However, he added that Lanitis Bros will pay for proper renovation in the future.
“I don’t know how much this will cost, it depends on the plans and it will be some time in the future, but this is very important for Paphos,” he said.
The Shelley residence is located on a cliff edge in central Paphos and is named after Dr Shelley, a British doctor, who lived there between 1955-1959, said Stefanou. It is now hosting part of the Pafos2017 ‘Planites’ exhibition
The old ice factory is located in the area of Panayias’ Pantanassa and the Technical School and belongs to the Sodap wine cooperative which offered it to Paphos municipality.
The old ice factory’s outdoor space was used for a theatre event in October 2016, which Stefanou said was a success. He added that it would be an excellent venue for music and theatre events.
As well as being an events coordinator for Pafos2017, Stefanou is also responsible for architecture plans of the organisation’s projects that have a need for setting up works, or art installations and this is how he became involved in both of these projects, he said.
“Since I have both an academic background in the field of architecture and work experience as an architect, I was responsible for the tidying up of the buildings.”
He stressed that both projects are important for Paphos.
“As Paphos is now under construction, it is important to renovate spaces for future use. These two projects will be added to the list of new cultural venues for Paphos and open up many new opportunities.”
“The Shelley Residence is in use at the moment and it will continue to be utilised but it will be even better when it has been renovated.”
Lanitis said that they wanted to support a major project for Paphos and Cyprus.
“We are offering financial support to renovate two historic buildings, the Shelley residence and old ice factory, Sodap, which will function as key spaces for the Pafos2017 programme and important cultural sites after the title concludes at the end of the year,” the company said in a statement.
The Shelley Residence is currently being used to house some of the ‘Planites’ exhibition which is underway in Paphos and will run until February 28.