The Paphos archaeological museum has finally opened its doors to the public after lengthy delays in upgrading work and is well worth a visit staff say.
The museum has had a total overhaul, according to an announcement made on Wednesday by the communications and works ministry which is responsible for the antiquities department.
“The Paphos Archaeological Museum has opened its gates to the general public and as part of the best promotion of our cultural heritage, the museum was completely restored and upgraded and enriched with additional archaeological findings from recent excavations,” it said.
The Paphos museum has been closed since 2016. Upgrading work was consistently delayed, and the project embroiled in controversy when a spat erupted between the town’s mayor, Phedonas Phedonos, and the department of antiquities.
He called them out for long delays and accused them of shirking their responsibilities.
However, the department of antiquities struck back saying that the delay in reopening the museum was due to the late delivery from abroad of the new display cases.
“Through the exhibits, representations and supervisory material that has been included in the renovated museum, visitors will be able to travel back in time and get to know the long history of both Paphos and Cyprus in general,” the ministry announcement said.
Admission to the Paphos museum is free, as it is with all twelve of the museums operating under the antiquities department. The free entry seeks to boost visitor numbers which have fallen drastically as a result of the pandemic.
“It’s really worth a visit. The museum has been renovated and the exhibitions upgraded, we have some of the same on display as before, but also new sculptures, even more pottery and jewellery as well,” a member of staff told the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday.
The announcement also pointed out that the decree which resulted in the suspension of archaeological sites, museums and historical sites, expired as of February 8, 2021.
The twelve museums which are open with free entry are:
In Nicosia: The Cyprus Museum, Nicosia, the Ethnological Museum (Hadjigeorgakis Cornesiou House), the Local Archaeological Museum of Ancient Idalio, the Local Ethnological Museum of Fikardos, the Museum of Cyprus Railway, Evrychos
In Larnaca: the Archaeological Museum of Larnaca and the Local Museum of Traditional Embroidery, Lefkara.
In Limassol: the Archaeological Museum of Limassol District, the Local Archaeological Museum of Kourio – Diocese
In Paphos: the Archaeological Museum of the district of Paphos, the Mario-Arsinois local Archaeological Museum, in Polis Chrysochous and the Museum of People’s Art, Geroskipou
The Paphos museum is open daily from 8.30pm until 4pm except Sunday
For further information and opening hours go to the department of antiquities website www.mcw.gov.cy/da