CULTURE

After grand opening, the municipal library still has doors shut

When former Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos inaugurated the new Municipal Library last December 18 – only a few days before the end of his term of office and the arrival of new Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni – few could imagine that the grand ceremony would not mark the real opening of the library. In fact, the new library Avramopoulos inaugurated never opened its doors to the public, despite previous claims by the authorities to Kathimerini that the facility would be up and running by that date. In the past few days, members of Kathimerini’s staff have tried to use the Municipal Library on several occasions, but to no avail. The door were shut tight and there was no notice informing the public of when, or if, it would open. The municipality’s official line was explained to us by library director Voula Petroula, who said: «The fumigation of the last batch of books has not been completed yet. That’s why we have delayed.» Petroula was unable to give an exact opening date. Unofficial sources suspect that Avramopoulos, keen to have the opening of the library credited to his tenure at the municipality, jumped the gun and inaugurated it ahead of time. Last week Petroula was scheduled to meet with the new vice-mayor in charge of cultural affairs, Panos Loukakos, in order to discuss some of the problems the library is facing, such as staff shortages and scheduling the opening hours. She believes that the library will open this week, although, she says, the public will not be allowed to borrow books, only to use the reading room. Petroula also said that the public may expect to be able to borrow books «in about three months.»