The recently installed Mayor of Ayia Napa has done much to promote the town as a family friendly holiday resort, a booming development area, and a centre of culture. It is with the last of these remits in mind that the Ayia Napa Sculpture Park was created. Opened in 2014, the park provides a breath of cultural fresh air that is in keeping with a wider remit of culture that the municipality promotes throughout the year. Not least among their initiatives are a series of festival events that include the annual Ayia Napa music festival and a medieval festival later in the summer.
A diverse sculptural contribution
Anyone visiting the Ayia Napa Sculpture Park will no doubt be struck by the sheer diversity of styles and artistic statements that the varied collections present. While this may come initially as something of a surprise to both culture vultures and mildly interested tourist with some idle moments to fill alike, there is a good reason for it. The exhibits in the steadily expanding open-air park have been created by over 50 sculptors from different parts of the world.
Art that works on many levels
Even if you have no interest or understanding of the arts, you cannot help but be struck by many of the more “quirky” exhibits that often look as if they have been dropped without thought or just abandoned there. Beyond the art aspect of some of the more visually striking creations lays a basic attention seeking interest that is guaranteed to elicit some remark or response from even the most disinterested of visitors. So in that sense at least, the whole idea of this open-air sculpture gallery does actually work.
Art in a unique setting
With the exhibits seemingly scattered across the rocky landscape in no specific order, the visitor’s attention is all the more likely to wander to the setting of the park itself and that works in a subtle way too. Looking out across the Mediterranean surrounded by these modern sculptures, you can’t help but turn your thoughts to the tranquillity of the scene. In 2015, many of the artist involved came to the park and over a period of three weeks they created their works in what was for all intents and purposes a tranquil open-air workshop.
An ever-expanding project
The 20,000 square metre park still has plenty of space to fill and you can expect to see new exhibits every year because sculptors arrive either to create or deliver their works during the winter months. Quite aptly, the sculptors share the park with another new venture that has been designated the Park of Mediterranean Plants, Cacti, and Succulents.
How to get to the Ayia Napa Sculpture Park
Situated at the Ayia Napa end of the Cavo Greco coast road into Protaras, the sculpture park is easily reached from the head of the coastal highway coming from Larnaca. Just take the last (third) exit off the roundabout at the end of the highway and then the second exit at the next island near the police station following the sign for Protaras and you will see the park on your right within a few minutes.
Admission is free, the park is open all year (there is no boundary) and it is open while there is daylight to see. The park is operated by the Ayia Napa Municipality and any enquiries should be directed to the cultural department at the town hall.
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