Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Queen’s jubilee platinum concert relocated to Happy Valley

file photo: britain's queen elizabeth visits scotland for holyrood week
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth

The charity concert to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee has been relocated to within the defence sector of the British bases following “the hostile response of a very small minority.”

The British bases said on Friday that they are saddened over the withdrawal of partners and beneficiaries, following strong reactions by some who criticised the event as celebrating a ‘killer queen’.

Originally set to take place on June 2 at the ancient site of Curium, the concert will now instead be held in Happy Valley within the defence estate at Episkopi.

“We must not forget the past – but it is most important to look to the future,” the press release read, adding that the relationship today between the UK and Cyprus is one of friendship and close partnership.

The rockslide appears to have been set off by presidential candidate Giorgos Kolokasides who last week called for the event to be cancelled, arguing that it is provocative and unthinkable for such a celebration to take place as the queen is linked to the darkest moments of Cypriot history. He referred to the “so-called friendship” between the UK and Cyprus.

A series of cancellations and condemnation followed soon after, ranging from posts on social media to political parties such as Edek branding the event as unacceptable.

Perhaps most notable was the withdrawal of the two children’s cancer charities who were set to receive funds from the proceeds of the event. Little Heroes was first to leave, followed by the One Dream One Wish Foundation soon after – citing “the political dimension the event has now gained”.

The well-known Diastasis Cultural Association dance and chorus group also withdrew amidst the controversy which had engulfed the event.

Queen Elizabeth II is was the head of state during Eoka’s 1955-1959 liberation struggle from colonial rule during which nine young fighters were executed.

But the bases on Friday instead pointed to the close partnership currently shared between Cyprus and UK, referring to security ties, administrative, cultural, education as well as personal and familial links.

“We remain committed to putting on a truly fantastic event… All proceeds will continue to be donated to extremely worthwhile charities, and there are still many brilliant acts in the line-up to look forward to,” the bases said on Friday.

Referring to the partners who cancelled on the event, the bases said that they respect those decisions and hope to be able to work with them again in the future.

Queen Elizabeth’s first and only visit to Cyprus took place in 1993 to attend a Commonwealth heads of state meeting. While on a visit to Nicosia to receive the golden key to the city she was greeted with a rowdy protest with demonstrators chanting: “Go Home”.

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