Cyprus Mail

Using Paphos carob mills for university will damage ‘collective memory’ of the city, Etek says

feature bejay architect's plan for the campus in paphos
The planned new university campus

The scientific and technical chamber (Etek) on Monday called for the immediate designation of the old Paphos carob mills complex as listed buildings to safeguard the architectural heritage and the ‘collective memory’ of the city.

In letters to the ministry of interior and the mayor of Paphos, Etek addressed the plans for creating the Paphos campus of the American University of Beirut in the area, emphasising that architectural solutions which favour synergy and respect for the existing complex, would “doubly benefit” the city by protecting its cultural heritage.

The reason for Etek’s intervention was a recent presentation on plans to put the old mill buildings to new use.

While acknowledging the benefit of a new public institution for the city, Etek said that an institution such as a university ought to be sending a message of “respect and sensitivity towards richly historic buildings.”

Unfortunately, according to Etek, the proposed re-purposing of the carob mills is far from this.

Of the original buildings, only the facade on Apostolos Pavlou Avenue and some other walls would remain standing, Etek said, decrying the “almost total demolition” and the resulting loss of historical memory of a building which had seen so many uses in its past.

Etek added it considers the Paphos carob mills a potential model of sustainable architectural practices, innovation and proper integration of old and new.

As technical advisor to the state, Etek said it is ready to discuss ways to overcome any challenges aiming at a project that will be a reference point for Paphos in the future, while protecting its cultural heritage.

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