An operation to remove illegal advertising signs and billboards got underway in the centre of Paphos on Tuesday, according to a municipality spokesman.
“This move is part of an ongoing operation to clean up Paphos and remove any signs which are illegal,” he told the Cyprus Mail.
This particular operation is part of a wider campaign to clean up Paphos, spearheaded by mayor Phedonas Phedonos, which was introduced soon after he was elected.
The municipality launched the war on ugly billboard advertising to rid the town of all illegal signs and set new guidelines for future advertisers in March 2016. The action included tearing down illegal structures and billboards that blighted the town’s main tourist strip, Ayiou Antoniou, known locally as bar street.
The current operation involves illegal signs found along one of the town centre’s busiest streets, Gladstonos Street, and aims to promote a better and more appealing view of the town.
“This visual pollution has to be stopped and cleaning it up will help to maintain the aesthetic character of the town. This is particularly important for the entire area, but at present we are concentrating efforts in the town centre,” the spokesman said.
Paphos old town is currently undergoing a major multi million euro face lift and concerted efforts are being made by the authorities to present the best ‘face’ possible, he added.
He noted that those businesses or individuals wishing to place advertising boards or signs at their premises must first undertake initial checks with the authorities and then make an application to the town planning department of the municipality.
There are now a number of places in the town where all signs are forbidden, including archaeological sites.
Other municipalities in the district have ongoing policies to remove illegal boards and Geroskpiou municipality is requesting a profusion of illegal billboards be removed in the coming days, otherwise a dedicated team from the authority will take steps to remove them.