The government is investing in culture and targeting young people with that investment, according to President Nikos Christodoulides.
Christodoulides was speaking on Tuesday evening at the opening ceremony of the upgraded amphitheatre at the Archbishop Makarios school for the blind in Nicosia, which was also attended by education minister Athina Michaelidou.
He also hinted at a major announcement in the arena of culture to be made in the coming days, saying “I would like to assure you that the government, the state, is investing in culture, with the aim of, among other things, ensuring our people have access to it, and that young generations do too – and I insist on [mentioning] the next generations because in the coming days we will be announcing something.”
Sharing details, he said “we have come to an agreement with the Bank of Cyprus to offer all of our young people a culture card, a free amount on the part of the government, to bring our young people as they turn 18 years of age closer to cultural events in our country.”
He also turned his attention to the new amphitheatre itself, explaining that it is the oldest contemporary amphitheatre in Cyprus and that it “has hosted countless moments of culture and contributed significantly to the capital’s cultural life, but also to the whole of Cyprus.”
He said that thanks to the love of the school’s first headmaster Nikolas Ierides, the amphitheatre “emerged as a hub of culture over time” and became “an ideal space for theatrical performances, concerts, and many other cultural events.”
He added, “with a capacity of 1,588 spectators, the amphitheatre has hosted and served Cypriot cultural events for decades, making up a part of Cyprus’ rich cultural heritage and acting as an important source of culture and art for our country.”
“Tonight, we are here to open a new chapter in the development of the blind school amphitheatre. With the completion of its upgrading, which was not only about rebuilding it and making aesthetic improvements, but also about the creation of a modern environment which will bring a clearly improved cultural and artistic experience,” he said.
He added that among other things, one of the key objectives of the upgrade works was to ensure the maximum possible safety and functionality of the space for people with visual impairments.
He said this is “fully in line with our obligations as a society, but also with the commitment of the government to enhance opportunities and social cohesion.”
He added that the work had been done “to reach our basic aim, our basic obligation, which is nothing other than than the immediate and fundamental integration of people with every kind of disability into society,”
To this end, an audio description room as well as other features to enhance people with disabilities’ experience at the amphitheatre will be constructed at the amphitheatre, with Christodoulides confirming that the government will undertake the audio description room’s construction.