Spectacular Opening Ceremony For Paphos as Cultural Capital of Europe
The little city of Paphos, Cyprus is now officially the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2017. It shares this honor with Aurhus, on Denmark's Jutland Peninsula's east coast. These two cities will be "connected throughout the year by a series of common projects and actions," says the paphos2017.eu web site.
The ceremony took place on Saturday in the recently renovated Town Hall Square, the main square of the Old Town. The Square was packed with Paphians, as well as Cypriots from all over the island, despite unusually low temperatures. A stage was set up in front of the Town Hall, with ultra-modern abstract sculptural elements, and a large video screen to assist those far from the stage to follow the proceedings. Bands played, soloists entertained, dance companies performed, and multimedia images were projected onto the facade of the Town Hall. Through these presentations the long history of this place, which started with the myth of Paphos, son of Pygmalion, whose ivory image of Aphrodite was brought to life by Aphrodite herself, was told.
Present at the opening ceremony were 40 representatives from other European capitals, a large number of foreign ambassadors to Cyprus, as well as 100 foreign media and journalists from Europe and Asia.
The culmination of the proceedings was the opening of a giant curtain, marking the official start of Paphos's year as Cultural Capital, following by live music and ending, finally, with a splendid fireworks display.