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MPs suggest old theatre ideal for plenary.


Jacqueline Agathocleous

NICOSIA Mayor Eleni Mavrou yesterday said the municipality was open to discussions over what to do with the Municipal Theatre after MPs suggested the building be used to hold the weekly House plenum meetings.

The current parliament building and the theatre are adjacent. The idea arose while DISY deputy Averoff Neophytou and EVROKO leader Demetris Syllouris were taking a stroll in the area.

With plans already afoot to relocate the Cyprus Museum to the site of the old Nicosia General Hospital, opposite the current parliament building, the two MPs thought that relocating the plenum to the theatre would be an ideal move.

They cited two basic reasons. The first is that plans to build a new parliament building have been stalled due to the economic crisis. Secondly Cyprus' presidency of the EU in the second half of 2012 will need a prestigious plenary meeting room.

Neophytou even suggested the three buildings be connected - either on land or underground - as a means of attracting tourists.

Mavrou explained that the municipality was currently in the process of examining various scenarios, in cooperation with the private sector, to secure the necessary financial means to restore the theatre and fix the damage caused when the roof collapsed on an empty auditorium in June 2008. "But we don't have anything specific yet," she added.

Regarding the MPs' proposal, Mavrou said the matter had been raised at parliament before, yet didn't seem to be viewed in a positive light.

"This is a proposal that was made in the past by (Chamber of Commerce and Industry) KEVE and various NGOs. However, when it was discussed recently at the House, the response was negative," she said. "But if MPs want to raise the issue again, we are open to discussions."

The municipality -- and the state in general - came under fire in 2008, when the roof of the theatre, which had just been renovated, collapsed onto the auditorium just a day before primary school pupils were meant to stage their end-of-year play.

The mayor said there were no developments yet in the civil court case the municipality has filed for damages. "The case has been submitted to court, but there is still a very long way to go before we have any developments."

A new municipal theatre is now being built at the site of the old GSP Stadium in central Nicosia.

Copyright Cyprus Mail 2009

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:Oct 15, 2010
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