This actually isn’t my own dislike, but it’s a dislike that really struck me.
My father left Cyprus in 1966. He was in tears the day that Archbishop Makarios III died. I’ve only been back to Cyprus twice, in 1979 and 1989, and briefly and superficially at that.
So I don’t have a clear notion of how Cyprus has evolved and changed, from a colonial backwater of popular revolt, to… well, to what it is now.
I was friends a decade ago with a Serbian postdoc. Before coming to Melbourne, he’d spent time at the University of Cyprus, in Nicosia.
Now, to my eyes, this statue of Makarios at the Archbishopric of Cyprus:
is a reasonable and respectful depiction of the Father of the Nation:
But my friend Vlado did not alight in the Cyprus of 1961. He alighted in the Cyprus of 2005, and he alighted from Serbia, a place where people are skeptical of religious leadership. (In fact they’re skeptical of religious leadership now in Cyprus, too.) And a place where people are even more skeptical about monumental depictions of national leaders.
So he made merciless fun to me of Mecha-Makarios, trampling the streets of Nicosia and crushing all underneath.
That really was a shock to me. But you know, his eyes are probably clearer in this than mine would be.