Cypriots mull giant offshore Aphrodite

The government of Cyprus is seriously considering a proposal to build a colossal statue of Aphrodite balancing on a scallop shell off the island’s southwestern coast, in an attempt to attract more tourists, reports said yesterday The 50-million-dollar project is the brainchild of one Xanthos Menelaou, a London-based Cypriot architect, who was inspired by Sandro Botticelli’s 15th-century painting of the ancient goddess of love being wafted ashore by the winds. According to Greek myth, Aphrodite was born in the sea and first set foot on land at Paphos, on western Cyprus. Cypriot Tourism Minister Nikos Rolandis was impressed. «Egypt has the Pyramids, London has the Tower, New York has the Statue of Liberty,» he said. «I believe Cyprus needs an identity, and that should be Aphrodite… It will be a very imposing thing.» Menelaou said Cyprus needs to be «upgraded as a product.» «Romantic things like sea and sand don’t work any more.» The Cypriot Cabinet will discuss the idea on April 3.

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