Thodoros Papayiannis, Female Figure_nnn General view of Limassol embankment_nnnn

Thodoros Papayiannis                     General view of Limassol embankment

Limassol is the main port in Cyprus and its biggest city in terms of population. It has a long history in arts and has always had, comparatively, the most innovative and progressive society within the island. The reconstruction of the coast close to the medieval castle on Christodoulou Chatzipavlou Avenue, and its expansion through reclaiming land from the sea, triggered the thought of a contemporary artistic intervention in the public space.

The Limassol Municipality decided to embellish and upgrade the city according to international long-applied methods and create a public park that people could visit, stay and use during their leisure time. Three symposia were annually organised between 1999 and 2001 with an aim to bring modern art closer to the inhabitants of the city. As an end result a Sculpture Park was created. The originality of that initiative should be measured within Cypriot standards where any ‘art’ located in public space serves exclusively commemorative (mostly war commemorative) purposes.

Consequently aesthetics and artistic quality is only randomly considered. In an attempt to promote the city’s twining with other cities in Greece and abroad, the title of the symposia was “Twining Cities”. The participant artists were proposed by the twined to the Limassol cities, or their artistic foundations. A local selection committee was formed to select the Cypriot participants. In certain cases private sponsors ‘adopted’ some artworks. This was the case for the companies Alpha bank (Helene Black, “Framed views”), Aristos Philis Printers (Manolis Tzobanakis, “Sacrifice”), Ioannou and Paraskevaidis Ltd (Giorgos Houliaras, “Synthesis”), and Lanitis Group (Maria Kyprianou, “Birth”); the private committees “Limassol Committee of the Cyprus Association for Parents of many Children” (Kyriakos Rokos, “Mother of many children”), and individuals such as the Pambos Zenios family (Thodoros Papayiannis “Female Figure”).

In addition to the participants, Thodoros Papayiannis’ work, “Female figure”, presumably an allegory of Limassol, found its final position in the Sculpture Park. The 6 meters sculpture, made of brass, was donated to Limassol Municipality by the sculptor in 1991 as a symbolic gesture to honor the memory of Stefi Zeniou. In 1996 it was placed in the courtyard of the Municipal Gallery and eventually was located at the Sculpture Park.

Selected sources:
~ Φιλελεύθερος (Fileleftheros), May 23, 1997, p. 28.
~ Φιλελεύθερος (Fileleftheros), August 1999, p. 33.
~ Φιλελεύθερος (Fileleftheros), March 19, 2000, p. 55.
~ Φιλελεύθερος (Fileleftheros), July 16, 2000, p. 102.
~ Φιλελεύθερος (Fileleftheros), July 15, 2001, p. 58.
~ Α’ Συμπόσιο Γλυπτικής Δήμου Λεμεσού 1999 Αδελφές πόλεις (Limassol Municipality, Twined Cities), Limassol Municipality: 1999.
~ Εικαστικά Δρώμενα (Ikastika Dromena), The Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts, August 1999, no 23, p. 3.
~ Εικαστικά Δρώμενα (Ikastika Dromena), The Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts, September 1999, no 24, p. 1-11.
~ Εικαστικά Δρώμενα (Ikastika Dromena), The Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts, September 2000, no 36, p.1-2, 4, 9-15.

Limassol Symposia:
1st Symposium
2nd Symposium
3rd Symposium