Kyprianou Cadillac being auctioned off
A BLACK Cadillac which was used by former President Spyros Kyprianou over three decades ago - now on display for auction - has kindled the interest and memories of some of the people who remember it.
The car will be auctioned a week from today at the State Fair. It will be the fifth item on sale out of around 70 cars and other items.
“What I know is that the car was not a successful choice: it had some problems and had to be abandoned,” said Spyros Kyprianou’s son, former Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou who was studying abroad at the time.
Spyros Kyprianou served as president from 1977 to 1988, after the death of the island’s first President, Archbishop Makarios III.
The car and its history are both dusty by now and the Ministry of Finance’s department of purchasing and supply could not expound on the Cadillac’s story.
One man who remembers it well is Nicos Rolandis who served as Foreign Minister between 1978 and 1983. “Of course I remember it. I was in the car with the president myself,” said Rolandis.
He said he remembered the car throughout his time as Foreign Minister but could not say with full certainty exactly how it came to be used as a government car.
Asked whether a report by daily Phileleftheros was correct to call it a gift, Rolandis said: “If it was a gift it could only have come from the affluent Diaspora community of the Greeks of Cyprus in America. They did on occasion give such generous gifts,” he said.
In whatever way the car came to the state’s possession, it was “transportation,” Rolandis said, albeit a big, spacious car and imposing car.
“There is one moment I remember very clearly. I was in the car with my wife, the president and his wife, when we received word (via the car’s wire radio) that a certain newspaper was going to print a negative report. This was around 1983, close to the presidential elections. When he [Kyprianou] saw the report, he was very upset,” Rolandis said.
The car was first thought to have belonged to Makarios, who was known to love Cadillacs. A Mercedes and a Cadillac he owned are now on display in the Archbishopric’s courtyard.
“I actually asked that it be verified whether it was a Cadillac belonging to Makarios,” an Archbishopric official told the Cyprus Mail.
But the Cadillac, bearing registration numbers OU001, belongs to the state which is letting it go.
Kyprianou passed away in 2002 from cancer.
Interested buyers can examine the car at the Sopaz industrial area in Nicosia between 9am and 1pm until next Tuesday as well as on Thursday morning between 7.30am and 8.30am, before the auction. Call 22400460 for more information.
(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.