By Rainer Küster, published in the Leipziger Volkszeitung on June 23, 2022
Markkleeberg. The Leipzig-based “Alexander Malios Research Institute for Cypriot Heritage and Archeology” (Amricha) wants to set up an exhibition space for its collection of more than 2,000 objects in the south-western part of the Agra Park, which dates from the earliest settlement to the Byzantine Empire around 11,000 years representing Cypriot history. According to Alexander Malios, who was born in Dresden, grew up in Cyprus and later moved to Leipzig again, Markkleeberg could become the “world’s largest independent museum of Cypriot culture outside of Cyprus”.
Side effect: revitalization of the park area
The complex is to be built on the area that was last used as a “Koi-Center” for the sale of fish food. The project and location are interesting in many respects. If you extend the line from the German Photo Museum via the White House, the area in the southwest is on the same axis. Because the Amricha project also includes a gastronomic area that could even be rented out for events, an infrastructural upgrade and the revitalization of this park area are obvious at the same time. In his presentation to the Markkleeberg city council, Amricha curator Alexander Gatzsche even spoke of the “re-emergence of the historic south-west gate”.
In her statement of facts, Mayor for Building and Construction of the city of Markkleeberg Jana Thomas pointed out to the city councilors that the town hall, the district building inspection office, the Pro Agra association and the State Office for Cultural Property consider the location suitable for the new museum building. The only question that remains is the financing, which Amricha cannot or does not want to handle alone. “It is a private initiative, but in addition to funding, we are primarily building on a strong partnership with the city of Markkleeberg, the Free State of Saxony, the EU and the Republic of Cyprus,” emphasized curator Alexander Gatzsche.
“We take everyone on board”
The 33-year-old Curator explained to the LVZ: “It is a cultural and social project. We are therefore in a phase that I would like to describe as ‘approaching from all sides’ ”. Therefore, the design of the building is currently only a kind of proposal and cannot yet be backed up with a cost estimate. Designed primarily as a museum in which the focus is on “cultural and historical mediation”, space should also be created for events and social projects. “We take everyone on board who wants to participate,” Gatzsche offers.
For the Markkleeberg town hall, an entry seems conceivable: “Our concern is the revitalization of the Agra Park,” says OBM Karsten Schütze (SPD), who also emphasizes the city’s interest “in being able to offer park gastronomy on the Markkleeberg side as well.” However patience is required on this boat trip. “If everything works out perfectly, construction could start in three to five years at the earliest,” curator Gatzsche looks ahead.
Link to the original article at LVZ+ (German): https://www.lvz.de/lokales/leipzig-lk/markkleeberg/museumsplaene-naehren-hoffnung-auf-belebung-des-markkleeberger-agra-parkes-ETVE6TTQHIGC24KUYNWZDAEHVU.html