A valuable personal archive of a former mayor of Paphos, Christodoulos Galatopoulos was presented to the municipality by his grandson at the weekend.
The collection will form the basis of a new project for the municipality which will preserve and digitise the town’s history.
The archive includes original and rare documents of the first decades of the last century, photographs, handwritten speeches, election leaflets, correspondence and many other documents.
Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos described the archive as ‘very important’ because the documents help to unfold the history of the city from 1920 to 1950.
The mayor said that the municipality will prioritise collecting archive material from all of the eminent people in Paphos over the last 100 years, adding that families and heirs have already been contacted with this in mind.
The material collected will be digitised, classified and maintained by a special scientific team in order to be held at the town’s Historical Documentation Centre, which the municipality plans to create in the listed building of the former police station in the heart of Paphos.
Doctor Christodoulos Galatopoulos who handed over his grandfather’s archive said that his grandfather tended not to throw anything away and kept a record of even, “humble, (in his words), election leaflets”, which are, however very rare today.
“The archive also includes all of my grandfather’s correspondence from his early years, 1930-31 when he was a Member of Parliament, during the period when he was imprisoned for four years and also in the period 1943-1953 during which he was elected three consecutive times as mayor of Paphos, leaving his mark on the city and the place more widely both for the works he carried out and for his spiritual and cultural contributions,” he said.
He wrote most of his literary works, including poetry, in prison. When the collection came into his grandson’s possession, the doctor discovered that there were books, poems and plays which were never published as his grandfather died when he was only 50.
Phedonos thanked Galatopoulos for the donation and expressed the belief that others would soon follow this example.