The municipality of Limassol dreams of the new Limassol Archaeological Museum as a new reference point, with innovative architecture and in a privileged location. At yesterday's meeting at the City Hall, before the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Giannis Karousou, the proposal of the Municipality of Limassol regarding the location of the new archeological museum of the province of Limassol was presented.
Initially, the minister clarified in front of everyone that the government does not favor the upgrade of the existing museum, as it is considered financially unprofitable. As Mr. Karousos explained, the studies require an amount of about 15 million euros, of which 6-7 million will be spent on the transport and preservation of antiquities. Taking into account these data, the government considers that it is in the interest of the city and the antiquities to be moved to a new place, while, as the minister characteristically stated, “it is a waste of public money to give 15 million to upgrade the current museum, in one place who is suffocating and already has problems “. In addition, the minister stigmatized the fact that the current museum receives an average of only five visits a day. It should be noted that, on the part of the city council, there is a disagreement from AKEL, which favors the upgrade of the current museum as the most appropriate option.
Afterwards, the municipal secretary Christos Efstathiadis presented to the attendees (EVEL, ETAK, Department of Antiquities, Public Works) the proposal of the municipality for the location of the new museum. The municipality places the museum in the area of Aktaia Odos and specifically in an embankment that will be created especially for this purpose, placing the museum inside the sea. This idea was supported in various ways by the municipality, emphasizing the proximity to the city center, the port of Limassol, as well as its easy access. In addition, experience from similar types of buildings abroad shows that the privileged point to be erected is in itself a point of reference and attraction for tourists.
Aktaia Odos is an ambitious and long-term plan of the Municipality of Limassol. It is the area between the old and the new port of the city, where there are plans to create a new large embankment that will include sidewalks, bike paths and other places of culture and entertainment. It is essentially a “new city within the city”, as the mayor describes it, which will unite the coastal front both on foot and in other alternative ways, such as by sea taxi! The Municipality of Limassol has big plans for the area, where it hopes when and if it is completed to be a pole of attraction for thousands of people. It is noted that, as stated by the mayor, in order to become a museum, it is not necessary to complete Aktaia Odos, since the space proposed today is accessible.
Although the idea was intriguing and exciting, there are serious concerns about various aspects. Initially, the proposal seems to raise costs significantly, but for the time being it is not possible to predict where the bill will go. However, according to what was mentioned, for an area of about 5,000 square meters, about five million are needed to be excavated.
Beyond that, there are concerns about the auxiliary spaces of the museum, as they are usually large underground storage facilities, which obviously can not be done with absolute ease at sea. Still, the sensitivity of antiquities raises questions about whether issues will arise in their exposure to an area that will be clearly affected by the sea.
In addition, the increased cost and size of the project may force the state to announce an international architectural competition, which will certainly change the data both financially and in time. However, the minister clarified that there is no specific fund, only an indication of the 15 million needed to upgrade the existing one.
In their statements after the end of the meeting, the minister and the mayor outlined the next steps for the promotion of this idea. What needs to be done are meetings between those involved to determine the exact needs of a new museum, so that the necessary area and the cost that will be required can be calculated. Also, the opinion of the technocrats is considered decisive regarding the possible difficulties that will arise due to the special position. However, within the next month, the municipality, Public Works, Urban Planning, Department of Antiquities and other stakeholders are expected to say it several times.