Demonstrators gathered on the beach in Yeroskipou on Saturday morning to protest the church’s plans to build on an archaeological site, led by the district committee of Akel.
The dispute centres on the government’s decision to declassify the Hellenistic archaeological site and allow the church to develop it. Many locals and officials want the decision overturned.
Protests against the planned two tower blocks and a hotel began after important finds were announced in the area.
Yeroskipou mayor Michalis Pavlides confirmed that the Yeroskipou council will meet the Antiquities Department and the land department in Nicosia on September 23, and hope to persuade the authorities to swap the piece of land earmarked for development for another nearby to protect the site, which is of significant archaeological interest.
Speaking at the event, Akel’s district committee leader Andreas Fakontis said: “As Akel Paphos, we have decided to hold today’s protest because we feel the need to inform, raise awareness, and alert the public, so we can prevent the planned business development of the Archdiocese coastal area of Pachyammos in Yeroskipou, where significant archaeological finds have been made.”
The party also put out an announcement condemning the planned development of the area, which said the Antiquities department already said the archaeological findings belong to a larger temple complex of the Hellenistic period.
“The cultural heritage of the island belongs to the people and is our common wealth. It is our heritage from previous generations and our legacy for future generations. That is why it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of the Archbishop’s business or other private interests and their dealings with the government,” the party said.
The protest had the support of the Paphos Greens.