CULTURE

A photographic journey through the Greek capital

« The Face of Athens» by Kathimerini’s Nikos Vatopoulos, with photographs by Vassilis Makris, is a photographic journey which goes beyond the facades and architectural details of houses and 1950s-60s apartment blocks, to capture something of the soul of urban pride. Few neoclassical buildings survived the temptation their owners faced in the ’60s of exchanging land for a share in a new apartment block. The ones whose owners refused to exchange their precious plot of Attic land for yet another impersonal multistory block, have been through a lot – war, occupation and dictatorship. Some walls in Ambelokipi, Pangrati and Stadiou still bear the signs of bullets and shells fired during the upheavals of December 1944, while jasmine and roses still bedeck their garden walls. «The Face of Athens,» with 400 photos, shows us a panorama of Athenian dwellings in the 20th century, a gallery of urban awareness and continuity. Foreign visitors to Athens who are charmed by neoclassical and Art deco houses and postwar apartment buildings with roughcast exteriors will relish this book which loves Athens and its heyday. Potamos publishers are launching the book on Dec. 17 at 1 p.m., at the Stoa tou Vivliou book arcade (5 Pesmazoglou). Architects Manos Biris and Dimitris Filippidis will introduce the book and the author will speak.