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Cyprus

Retired Larnaca art teacher beautifies neighbourhood park

kids playground
File photo

A retired art teacher in Larnaca took up a brush and paints to transform her graffiti-filled neighbourhood playground into a vibrant cultural experience.

Visual artist Androula Angelidou Antoniadou created works of art on the walls and municipal service boxes of the 20-year-old CYTA park, working every afternoon for months.

For her labour of love, Antoniadou received the commendation of the mayor of Larnaca who visited the park.

The artist got the idea after starting to take walks in the park with her son, following a surgery he had to undergo, Philenews reported.

Noticing the park had been vandalised and filled with unattractive slogans, she contacted the municipality and asked them to clean it up.

Subsequently, the idea of making a more uplifting space out of it began to take hold on her and she decided to contact Larnaca councillor, Giorgos Lakkotrypis via Facebook, who helped her get the permission to paint the park.

“Children and adults who came really liked the idea. What surprised me was that a group of youngsters who frequent the park had very positive reactions when they saw me [at work]. They showed me respect because my approach was also very friendly,” Antoniou told the news source.

“I wanted to express some feelings through the art, kindle optimism and send the message that creativity is an important gift to [humanity].

The artist advocated for more playgrounds, as well as other spaces on the island, to be similarly transformed.

“[When] everywhere you turn you see beauty, this cultivates mental wellbeing,” she noted.

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