Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos on Saturday took a dive in the newly completed underwater archaeological park at the ancient port of Amathus, which was inaugurated in the morning.
The project was carried out within the framework of a European cross-border programme, with the acronym Andikat and aims to promote the underwater archaeological and natural heritage through the creation of diving routes in marine protected areas in Greece and Cyprus.
The ancient port is part of the Marine Protected Area of Amathus and was chosen for the creation of a combined archaeological park on land and underwater, the first of its kind in Cyprus, the ministry said.
“The preserved architectural remains and the special biodiversity of the marine area form a unique place to visit, where the public has the opportunity to see and learn about the history and the marine environment”.
The ministry said that the works carried out in the site were mild and “aimed to present the ancient monument while highlighting the harmonious coexistence of natural and archaeological heritage in the area”.
The project initially raised concerns from environmentalists over severe damage to the protected marine plant Neptune grass but got the go-ahead from the fisheries and environment departments.
With their approval, a small part of the marine vegetation was removed from the surface of the ancient piers the area surrounding them in order to highlight the surviving architectural remains.
Informational signs on the shore and in the seabed guide walkers and swimmers, while the experience of the visit is enhanced through the digital navigation of the site, offered by the Amathus Harbour smartphone app.
Andikat is co-financed by the European Union (ERDF) and national resources of Greece and Cyprus (Interreg V-A Cooperation Programme Greece – Cyprus 2014-2020).