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Cyprus

Old Nicosia theatre to be renovated inside of two years

Restoration of the derelict municipal theatre, which started last month, is scheduled to be concluded in February 2019, contractors Cyfield announced on Thursday.

In a statement, the contractors said that, according to the reconstruction study, the iconic façade of the building will be retained, while the main stage, which was heavily damaged after the theatre’s roof collapsed in 2008, will be rebuilt.

The refurbishment will cost a total €8.7 million.

“The upgraded theatre will also feature state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment,” Cyfield said.

The new theatre will have the capacity to host plays and concerts “of high standards”, while provision will be made for improved acoustics, so that high-level productions can be staged.

The municipal theatre has been abandoned since the collapse of the roof, which an inquiry found was due to the old trusses, put in place in the 1950s, when the theatre was built.

The Nicosia municipality has since filed a civil lawsuit against the contractors, architects, and civil engineers of a renovation of the theatre three years prior, which included the roof, which has yet to be heard.

Various alternative uses have been proposed over the years for the theatre, including its annexation to parliament for additional office space and turning it into a Cultural Centre.

But neither idea gained traction, and the cabinet decided in 2014 to rebuild it.

Arguing for the proposed extension of parliament into the municipal theatre building in early February – when the process of awarding the contract for the refurbishment was almost done – House Speaker Demetris Syllouris said that “nowhere in the world” does a city with Nicosia’s population have “two theatres as close together as the Strovolos and Nicosia municipal theatres”.

As well, the state’s Cyprus Theatre Organisation (Thoc) theatre – a modern, imposing building inaugurated in October 2013 – is located within walking distance from the Nicosia municipal theatre.

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