Cyprus is marking the 200 years since the Greek war for independence by lighting up landmark buildings and schools and by issuing commemorative stamps among other events, cultural and political, officials said on Wednesday.

In his statements ahead of today’s anniversary,  Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said the Greek revolution of 1821 was the “most important historical event of its day”, despite almost overlapping with other liberation movements in Spain, Portugal and Naples.

Prodromou called the Greeks’ achievement “an historic miracle” as they were oppressed by Ottoman rule for centuries and yet able to promote the “human values and political ideals that make up modern European culture.”

Cyprus was under Turkish rule at the time but “many Cypriots fought and distinguished themselves by participating in the revolution and fighting for the freedom of the Greeks”, he added citing the memoirs of General Makriyannis, the Garden of Heroes in Mesolonghi which includes Cypriots, and the stories of Major Ioannis Stavrianou from Lofos.

The minister added that many decades had passed since Cypriots had with their own liberation struggle in 1955 to 1959 against British colonial rule.

Certain official buildings across the country will be lit up from Wednesday until April 1 using the Greek national colours, white and blue, Prodromou said.

The buildings include Nicosia Technical school A and Pancyprian Gymnasium in Nicosia, Apostolos Pavlos and Petros high school in Limassol, Pancyprian high school in Larnaca, Archbishop Makarios high school in Paphos and Paralimni high school.

“In addition, after consultations, the GSP stadium will be illuminated with the national colours and the central stadium of the country, from March 24 to 28,” Prodromou added.

Nicosia municipality will also light up the newly revamped Eleftheria square, as well as the walls of D’avilla Moat and the old town hall. The lighting ceremony will take place at 7pm on Thursday and the buildings will stay illuminated until Saturday, the municipality said.

Ruling Disy’s office in Nicosia

As part of their initiatives to mark the day, Engomi municipality announced it will allocate certain locations for the creation of street art to celebrate the people who fought in the Greek revolution.

Limassol municipality said it will also light up the town hall in blue and white at 7 to 10pm on Wednesday and on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Cyprus postal services announced the issuance of a commemorative stamp series to “convey to the whole world, in a simple, illustrative way, the message of the 1821 revolution,” Transport Minister Giannis Karousos said on Wednesday.

Greek revolution is “a beacon in our struggle against the Turkish conqueror,” Karousos tweeted.

“Cyprus Post has honoured with many issues of stamps both the Greek Revolution and its heroes and will continue to do so in the future, since stamps have the possibility through philately and their usual use, as means of paying postage, to offer historical knowledge and to honour the benefactors of the greatness of the Greek Nation,” he added.

The Greek Independence Day is celebrated every year on March 25 together with the annunciation of the virgin Mary.


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