Eleftheria Square to Come to Completion in 2016
In statements to the press, Yiorkadjis revealed that – despite consecutive delays in its construction – part of the development may be accessible by the public at the end of this year.
“I am of the opinion that the municipality rightly insisted on a clear and transparent process,” the Mayor stressed, in reply to criticism that bad municipal management of the project led to its delayed progress, “always within the law and according to regulations regarding EU-funded projects.”
Renovation of Nicosia’s Eleftheria Square resumed in January of this year, following several previous attempts to reinvigorate the abandoned project located in the heart of the capital.
The project’s development contract – valued at € 13.5 million – was awarded to prominent Cyprus construction firm Lois Builders Ltd.
Construction work is to be monitored closely by the Accountant General and State Auditor General, who shall oversee the distribution of state funding as well as EU subsidies, accounting for 85% of the project’s funding.
The masterplan for the renovation of Eleftheria Square has been created by renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.
Eleftheria Square constitutes a dramatic and historically significant architectural intervention – an aspiration to reconnect the ancient city’s massive fortified Venetian walls and moat with the modern city beyond – a bold vision of coherence and continuity which can become a catalyst to unify the last divided capital of Europe,” Hadid’s evaluation of the project reads.
Once completed, the project is to constitute an open area of 35300m2 and interior area of 7175m2.
Initially projected to be completed by March 2013, the project was annulled in August 2014 due to increasing building costs.
Discussion of the square’s renovation began decades ago, with the Nicosia Municipality issuing tenders in 2004, aiming to complete the project in time for Cyprus’ rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, in 2012.