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Railway works halted until August

 Another appeal by citizens' group obliges ISAP to postpone Monastiraki project
The site at Monastiraki has been covered up with gravel by ISAP and is to remain untouched until a final court verdict is issued

A much-delayed project aimed at replacing the well-worn stretch of track between the Monastiraki and Thiseio stations on the Kifissia-Piraeus electric railway (ISAP) is to be postponed until August when an appeal by a citizens’ group against the works is to be heard, a court ruled on Monday.

The court decision to postpone the project came just a week after a ruling by the same court allowed ISAP to press on with its works despite an appeal by members of a group dubbed the Citizens’ Initiative for the Rescue and Promotion of the Altar of the Twelve Gods.

The site has been covered up with gravel by ISAP and is to remain untouched until a final court verdict is issued on whether or not the planned project can continue.

The protesters claim that the site is of archaeological value and should not be disturbed by engineering works.

Archaeologists have identified the findings as part of the Altar of the Twelve Gods, a landmark monument dedicated to the 12 deities worshipped in ancient Greece.

The legal wrangle began last month when the group took out an injunction against ISAP, demanding that the site be cleared and protected.

Regional councilor Costas Diakos is backing the citizens’ group and has expressed the readiness of local authorities to finance the showcasing of the monument. Meanwhile another legal suit has been lodged with the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Representatives of the citizens’ initiative have stressed that they have no connection to the six protesters who were arrested last month after trying to prevent railway tracks being laid over the site.

Most of the protests over the planned works on the site has involved self-professed “Dodecatheists,” worshippers of the 12 Olympian deities to whom the altar is dedicated.

ekathimerini.com , Monday May 2, 2011 (23:00)  
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