Cyprus’ national symbol – a statue of its first President, Archbishop Makarios – will likely be replaced with the government looking for something it says better represents the island’s residents, including Turkish-Cypriots who’ve occupied the northern third since an unlawful 1974 invasion.
The legitimate government isn’t recognized by Turkey although Cyprus is a member of the European Union that Turkey wants to join while barring Cypriot ships and planes and wanting to keep an army in the occupied land.
A search is underway for the location and form of a new monument which will act as a reference point for Cyprus and replace Makarios’ statue, which is at the President palace, and where respects are currently paid during national events but also during visits by foreign officials.
The newspaper Politis said location scouting is underway for a spot to place the new monument with a favored idea said to be one dedicated to unknown soldiers that could be put into Eleftheria Square.
The government is considering that such a monument, Politis said, could be dedicated to the fallen of World War II, where Greek and Turkish-Cypriots fought against fascism side by side before battling each other in war.