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Graffiti artist says Cypriots forgot second invasion

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New CRS graffiti near Paphos gate

A new street art in Nicosia suggests Cypriots ‘forgot to remember’ the occupied territories, thousands of missing, refugees and dead.

The island’s outline is depicted in white with red paint dripping from the northern half down against a blue background in the most recent work by Christos Kakoullis. It is accompanied by a single word ‘ksehno’ translating in English as ‘I forget’.

The new art work is meant as a response to the overused slogan often found on school notebook covers ‘Den Xehno’ translating as ‘I won’t forget’ in English. The saying has been accompanied with the same design the artist chose or a picture from the occupied territories. It aims to act as a reminder to Greek Cypriots about the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Kakoullis, known as CRS, said this graffiti was done in a symbolic way on August 15 for the “second invasion” of Cyprus, which saw authorities in the north taking over more territory.

He said Famagusta, Midoria and Morphou were all conquered recently, but “we forgot to sound the sirens”.

“We forgot the second invasion, ultimately we forgot that it is in the second invasion that Cyprus was conquered.”image 6483441

In October 2020, the opening of the fenced off area of Varosha was marked in a ceremony attended by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. About two years later, the beach in front of the King George Hotel was opened. Earlier this year, three Greek Cypriot-owned hotels in the fenced area had been sold to a Turkish Cypriot businessman.

Both the local government and the UN have condemned the developments. The Security Council has called for the immediate reversal of these actions which are against its previous resolutions.

In his statement on Tuesday, the artist also critisised how people financially support ‘the conquerors’ and disrespect those who suffered due to the invasion by visiting the north and spending money there.

“The state forgot us and we in turn forgot that across the road is occupied and we leave our money to the conquerors as if it were another state. Finally, we forgot to remember our homeland. We forgot to remember the thousands of missing, refugees and dead.”

“We are at risk because we forgot,” he stressed.

The piece of art can be found across from the fire station of Paphos gate in an abandoned guardhouse in front of the Pallas cinema in Nicosia.

 

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