Access to the 12 museums under the jurisdiction of the Antiquities Department will be free of charge after Cabinet on Thursday approved the ‘Museums for All’ proposal submitted by the Transport Ministry aiming to increase visitors’ numbers.
The ministry, which is also responsible for the Antiquities Department, took into account recommendations by UNESCO and the results of the implementation of free admission policies in museums in other European countries such as the UK and Sweden.
It also considered the views of local and international tourist institutions and organisations as well as suggestions by the Association of Cypriot Archaeologists.
In other European countries, free admission has led to an increase in visitors of more than 50 per cent.
In Cyprus, museums attract fewer visitors than other attractions. While the total number of visitors to all museums, archaeological sites and monuments amounted to 1,285,538 in 2019, just 82,476 visited the 12 museums.
“Taking into account the above, with the proposed new policy, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works has set the goal of increasing the number of visitors to the museums, the enrichment of travel packages and excursions at no additional cost for visitors, as well as improving the experience of local and foreign visitors,” an official announcement said.
The museums will also be open on weekends. The new policy concerns the following museums:
Cyprus Museum – Nicosia
Ethnological Museum – House of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios – Nicosia
Museum of Traditional Embroidery and Silversmith-work – Lefkara
Ethnological Museum of Fikardou
Archaeological Museum of Larnaca District
Archaeological Museum of Limassol District
Archaeological Museum of Paphos District
Local Archaeological Museum of Kourion – Episkopi
Local Archaeological Museum of Marion-Arsinois – Polis Chrysochous
Local Archaeological Museum of Ancient Idalion
Geroskipou Folk Art Museum
Cyprus Railway Museum – Evrychou
In addition, under the ‘Museums for All’ policy there are provisions for:
- The development of interactive applications in museums, at ancient monuments and archaeological sites so that the visitor can perceive and experience Cyprus’ rich history and culture through modern technology
- The development of an integrated branding and strategy for digital marketing
- Carrying out civil weddings at specific ancient monuments and in museums, under terms and conditions set by the department of antiquities, in exchange for the payment of specific fees. The implementation of this policy has been a constant request by the various tourism boards, as they believe that it will act as a comparative advantage, upgrading the position of Cyprus as a quality wedding destination and thus strengthening the implementation of the national tourism strategy
- Upgrading existing shops
- The creation of an eshop to better promote of the products of the antiquities department
- The installation of a contribution box
- The creation of a special section on the website of the department in order to allow for the online payment of contributions.
The policy will start to be gradually implemented in 2020.