A contract for the redevelopment of the Paphos Gate archaeological site in Nicosia with the aim of integrating the area into the rest of the city was signed on Wednesday at the library of the Cyprus Museum.

The contract was signed on behalf of the government by the deputy head of the department of public works Antonis Koutsoulis and on behalf of the contracting company behind the revamp, Roushias Trading and Development Ltd, by Costas Rousias.

Also present at the signing ceremony were the permanent secretary of the transport ministry Stavros Michael, the director of the antiquities department Marina Solomidou-Ieronimidou and the Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis.

This project is part of the antiquities department’s plan for the promotion and rehabilitation of the Nicosia Venetian walls. The department of public works will manage and supervise the project.

The redevelopment, which is expected to be completed in early 2022, aims to showcase the archaeological findings through an experiential narrative of the history of the capital, from the Medieval period to the present day.

Costs are estimated at €225,000 including VAT. The project includes the construction of a pedestrian bridge over the antiquities which will offer visitors a tour of the site. The structure will unite Egypt Street with the Paphos Gate portico with the exit road that leads to Rigenis Street.

Metal arches will recreate the original stone arches of the Arab Ahmet aqueduct. The foundations of the aqueduct, which carried water to the capital during the Ottoman period before their destruction in 1567, were uncovered during excavations. Lights will also be installed to highlight the archaeological remains.

Moreover, the project will also involve the construction of reinforced concrete benches and steps for visitors, as well as retaining walls and safety railings.

The implementation of the project was initially prepared within the framework of the EU Structural Funds of the European Union for the Nicosia Green Line rejuvenation programme.

Archaeological excavations have uncovered one of three Venetian-era access points to Nicosia within the walls. The building material in second use, used for the construction of the access, from previous Gothic and other buildings highlights the importance of the area before their demolition in 1567 for the construction of the defensive work of Venetian engineer Giulio Savorgnano.