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Club hits back at world’s tallest statue project critics

Plans to build the world’s tallest statue at Pentakomo/Monagrouli on Cyprus’ southern coast have come in for so much criticism in the local media that the local representative of the Russian Institute has hit back at its critics.

Monagrouli angel statueTHE CYPRUS representative of the Russian-based institution which plans to build the biggest statue in the world in Monagrouli hit back at critics of the project yesterday saying Cyprus should feel proud to be chosen.

The media in particular have been critical of the planned €100 million construction – the 135 metre statue of an angel with its arms outstretched will be accompanied by a massive complex – which has so far received no official backing from the state, except the blessing of Archbishop Chrysostomos who will be leasing out the land just outside Limassol.

The Cyprus representative of the International Club of Philanthropists and Patrons of Europe, Panicos Onoufriou, says he can’t understand why people are reacting so negatively.

People should be proud that Cyprus was chosen for this construction,” he told the Cyprus Mail yesterday. “There were many countries in the running – including Panama and Greece, near Mount Athos – but Cyprus was chosen,” he said. “I personally represented Cyprus when the club members met to decide. I pointed out that there are a large number of tourists on the island that could bring in big revenue.”

According to Onoufriou, the complex will have two conference centres, one for over a thousand people and another, which will be a VIP conference area. It will have a concert hall, theatre and galleries for art work. It will also be supported by other buildings, such as restaurants and cafes.

“There are already plans for big events from abroad, mainly Russia through the club, which represents over 10,000 members in Russian and the former Soviet states,” he explained.

But he said in order for all this to materialise, the club – which boasts being a “new world of elite, successful people who have attained high spiritual development” with the third millennium in mind – needs funds.

“To fulfil its philanthropic goals, the club needs income and part of this income comes from investments,” he said. “The Church of Cyprus has income from business transactions. And a part of proceeds will be given to a number of charity organisations here in Cyprus, which I do not wish to name.”

Onoufriou added, “I saw some reports saying, ‘why don’t they give the money to people who need it?’ This is an investment; it will help the people through helping the state and the economy.”

Onoufriou said the statue, named “Kind Angel – the Keeper of the World”,  was something that has been in the works for a few years now.

“This construction will include a statue of an angel, which is also symbolic. The angel will have open wings and underneath, there will be half a globe, which represents the good that they want to prevail in the world.”

Onoufriou said reports claiming the construction had received no official backing from the state were also misleading.

“We made an application to town-planning and got some preliminary views,” he explained. “Now we are in the process of implementing the conditions that were set by town-planning, such as environmental surveys and so on.”

Architects and civil engineers are now busy carrying out these surveys, said Onoufriou.

He said they are hoping to submit the final application to town-planning by the end of the year, so that work can start next.

The International Club of Philanthropists and Patrons of Europe, according to its member Panicos Onoufriou, started as a philanthropic institution, with very rich Russian businessmen as founders.

“It receives financial support from a school in Russia, but its income comes primarily from its members’ contributions and various investments,” he explained.

“Among others, the club has helped and paid for medical treatment for around 50 children with facial disfiguration. Emphasis is paid on the children. We have doctors who offer the club free services.”

Readers' comments

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  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Durakiy vtoropyat kuda angyeli……….. Fools rush in where angels…….

  • Anna says:

    Come on – look at the picture! Isn’t it just too pretty for words? We NEED it in Cyprus! So stop carping!
    Good old Russians…Just hope it gets finished and is not just another festering blot on the landscape. It is not totally unedifying and uninspiring. It’s a nice religious thingy. Bless.

  • from Vienna/Austria says:

    Russians and Cypriots together into a huge project? This is like a dog watching a sausage !

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Reminds me of the South Sea Bubble.

  • Matthew Ring says:

    If there is genuine philanthropic intent they’ve managed to disguise it well. There might be vague stirrings in the imagination of Dan Brown, but otherwise a totally unedifying and strangely uninspiring project despite, or perhaps because of its tasteless grandiloquence. I think they should have gone with ‘nice angel…’

  • Greg Gregory says:

    I’m not sure if this will increase the value of the land my missus has there or not.

  • jon frazer says:

    KAYSEE, thank you for that info. The UK aid to India will be particularly aptly spent this year!!

    Is it just me, or is the world going mad?

    Anyhow, back to angelic edifices…

  • KAYSEE says:

    Too late

    Thu Jun 16, 11:20 pm ET
    NEW DELHI (AFP) – The Indian state of Gujarat has invited global tenders to help build the world’s tallest statue – a 182-metre memorial to an independence hero that will cost $300 million.

  • Brian says:

    I think these people are on a planet…… Just not the same one as the rest of us….. Snake oil anyone?

    Brian.

  • Odd_Job_Bob says:

    “But he said in order for all this to materialise, the club ….. needs funds”.

    Hahahahahahahahahaha!

    Unfortunately Robert, even though anyone with even a handful of marbles can see this for the enormous nonsense it is, THERE WILL BE SOME WHO FALL FOR IT.

    The “give us your money RIGHT NOW” schemes are getting even wilder and more outlandish as the days pass. We (the Basic British Expats) have been done like a kipper (even though they’re still trying to wring the last bits of cash out of us – see earlier post on “We’ll get your title deeds for a price” and lawyers offering to complete “Amnesty Applications”), the seriously rich other foreigners are being targeted now and, one would have thought that they would have heard the word from the streets on Cyprus and be steering clear.

    But no…

    Only yesterday, AFTER receiving all the info re: property fraud etc in Cyprus, an f-of-an-f was introducing me to a bunch of Syrians in the process of buying property here. “What is it about all the reports you are not getting?” I asked.

    Basically, they just do not believe us. We are not making our case loud or strong enough to convince potential “investors” to stay away. If we, the wronged, don’t (and face it, no-one else will), these ridiculous schemes will prove successful and hoodwink another generation of trusting hopefuls into parting with enough cash for the rotten “system” to limp on for a bit longer.

    As long as the Cyprus economy has money to survive, our issues will NEVER be addressed. In the words of Andp in response to another post, “(let’s) bring the whole lot down …. as we will never see change otherwise”.

  • James JH Lockhart says:

    Sunday sermon,

    To my beloved flock and tenants please visit my beloved angel !

  • Robert Briggs says:

    Which planet are these people on?

  • jon frazer says:

    Pity the conference centre won’t be finished in time for the gathering of the EU/ECB/IMF to implement the forthcoming Cyprus bail out.
    At least it could be done in style!

  • Andrew says:

    They are going to need a bigger concrete pump!

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