A new museum featuring the cultural heritage and ecological life of Cyprus and a two-dönüm eco-park have both been opened in the Lapta district village of Akdeniz.
The museum and eco-park – a Lapta Municipality project funded by the European Union – were officially opened last Sunday by President Mustafa Akıncı on the sidelines of the Fifth Eco Day Wild Asparagus Festival in Akdeniz. Among other leading figures in attendance at the ceremony were Lapta Mayor Fuat Namsoy and European Commission Task Manager Agustin Moya-Colorado.
The scheme, which was drawn up by Lapta Municipality in 2015 before 230,500 euros of EU-funding was secured, saw an old school building converted into the nature museum and creation of the eco-park with an information point to guide tourists around the area.
During Sunday’s ceremony, there was also the opening of a one-day exhibition at the new museum which was curated by well-known local ceramic artist Ayhatun Ateşin.
The exhibition featured replica terracotta artefacts made by local artists to highlight the removal of “priceless history’’ from the island. Some 2,000 sculptures dating back to the 6th century BC were unearthed during excavations by Swedish archaeologists between 1927 and 1931 and half of the hoard are now exhibited in Stockholm’s Medelhavet Museum with the reminder in the Cyprus Museum in South Nicosia.
Speaking to Cyprus Today, Mr Namsoy said: “The project saw the opening of a nature museum which exhibits information and photos of birds, plants, trees, beetles, turtles…and much else that is attributable to Cyprus and this region.’’
In addition to the wild asparagus festival in Akdeniz, festival-goers could also enjoy a six-kilometre nature walk as part of the 3rd traditional strawberry walk in the village of Yeşilırmak.
The event was organised by Lefke Municipality and muhtar’s office, Lefke Tourism Association, Yedidalga-Yeşilırmak Producers Association and Vouni King restaurant and hotel.
Lefke Mayor Aziz Kaya said the municipality was delighted to host the third event of its type “which inspires people to appreciate nature and strawberries”, a traditional fruit produced in the region.
A Cittaslow (slow city) flag was raised during the walk between the mountains and the sea.
By Kerem Hasan for Cyprus Today