Following the recent discovery at the Tombs of the Kings, the spotlight has now been turned back on the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus and its eye-catching staff number problems.
The drop in staff numbers is reportedly due to cost-cutting which has left 40% of vacancies remaining unfilled.
Three positions for Architectural Engineers and one for a Maritime Archaeologist, meanwhile, have been not been included in the department’s budget since 2013.
The department would ideally employ 66 archaeologists but currently has only 43 on the payroll. Only one of six archaeological conservationist positions have been filled and only one person is responsible for the creation of drawings and designs depicting all the historical monuments.
The situation is expected to worsen in the coming years as a significant number of department officials retire and no certainty their positions will be refilled.
Current employees, meanwhile, have complained about using out-dated and in some cases dangerous equipment, including the 30 department vehicles used to carry them to remote and mountain sites.
According to reports, there has been a case where the steering wheel in one vehicle had come off in the driver’s hands.
The spotlight was turned on the Antiquities Department on Tuesday following a report in Phileleftheros revealing experts had discovered a mausoleum at the Tombs of the Kings site in Paphos had been created for a Ptolemaic dynasty era king of Cyprus, Ptolemy Eupator.