Vandals defaced a street sign bearing the name of the late former President Demetris Christofias, put up in the Nicosia suburb of Geri only on Wednesday.

The street in question had just been renamed from ‘Geri Avenue’ to ‘Demetris Christofias Avenue’.

The decision to rename the street had been taken by Geri municipality back in July.

An announcement from the municipality stated that the renaming ceremony took place on the evening of Wednesday, December 28.

The event was welcomed by Geri Mayor Neophytos Papalazarou, the President of the Union of Municipalities Andreas Vyras, and the general secretary of Akel Stefanos Stefanou. It was preceded by a consecration by Bishop of Tamassos.

“The re-naming was decided on as a sign of appreciation and respect for a man whose life was dedicated to the struggle of Cyprus for freedom, for social justice, for the common man,” the announcement read.

The event was attended by the late president’s wife, Elsie, members of his family, MPs, mayors, municipal councillors and members of the public.

By Thursday morning, however, it transpired that someone had defaced the street sign with paint – although Christofias’ name was spared.

The act of vandalism is thought to have taken place overnight.

Christofias passed in June 2019, following a month-long battle with respiratory problems.

He had served as president for one term, from 2008 to 2013.