Larnaca municipality on Monday called on the transport minister to step in and ensure the completion of building works on the archaeological museum which are now more than three years behind schedule.
In a written announcement, the municipality expressed their deep dissatisfaction over the “unjustified delays” of the works on the museum that started in May 2017 and were expected to finish in November that year.
The transport ministry issued a statement later in the day explaining the reason for the delay was the decision to renovate the entire museum, while the initial decision only concerned the west wing.
The works proceed by taking account the accessibility, the proper ventilation and heating of the museum, as well as the need to display the new artifacts found from excavations, the ministry added.
But the municipality said their concerns were not being considered “despite multiple remarks, individual meetings and the dozens of letters to previous transport ministers but also to the current minister [Yiannis Karousos]”.
Almost a year after the most recent meeting with the minister on February 13, 2020, the works are yet to be completed and the museum remains closed, their statement added.
“The unprecedented and unjustified delays, the continuous extensions [of the deadline] and the lack of coordination between the various government departments, make a mockery of the tourism industry and not only in Larnaca,” the municipality said.
Responsibility was also attributed to the department of antiquities, which according to the municipality failed to carry out “time-consuming procedures such as tender documents and the coordination of the departments, before the museum had to close for renovation”.
It added that similar delays have occurred over the installation of a lighting system in the medieval castle which was expected to have been completed on December 31, 2020, after it closed in October last year.
“The works have not been completed yet, and the castle remains closed and without lighting,” the municipality added.