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Nicosia municipality issues scathing ‘thanks’ to graffiti-spraying Apoel fans

Graffiti on Eleftheria Square

Nicosia municipality on Thursday said its crews were trying to restore the damage caused by Apoel fans who spray-painted slogans on Eleftheria Square during their protest the previous night to demand the government close all the crossings to the north.

During Wednesday night’s march by Apoel followers to the Ledra Street crossing, some supporters “apparently with their faces covered, and protected by other people found it appropriate to write messages (graffiti) on Eleftheria Square,” the municipality said on its Facebook profile.

It also posted photos showing a white marble surface at the square graffitied with black spray paint. The paint said: “AU79” (Apoel Ultras, 1979, the year the Nicosia-based football club’s hardcore followers’ group was established.)

This was despite the fact that the march itself was policed, the municipality said.

“We ‘thank’ the Apoel fans for the respect they show for their city,” it said.

It added that its crews were working to restore the damage while also calling on organised groups and individuals to respect commonly-used areas around the city.

“The actions of some unscrupulous people increase the cost of city maintenance, which all citizens are required to pay for,” the municipality added.

It said its crews are forced daily to restore broken bollards, damaged benches and dustbins, remove graffiti and posters, clean empty plots from items left by fly tippers, only to do the same thing the next day.

The Apoel fans marched to the Ledra Street crossing on Wednesday evening holding Greek flags, and a large banner, which said: ‘Yes to closing all the checkpoints’.

The group members also chanted slogans saying: ‘hands off the national guardsmen’ in reference to protests last week, when one soldier was knocked to the ground by protesters.

They also chanted “Turkish Cypriots are the sons of whores,” and “A good Turk is a dead Turk.”

Police were also present at the protest, to monitor the situation.

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