CULTURE

National Garden set for its facelift

All the proposals and permits are inked and sealed for the long overdue revamp of the much-neglected National Garden to finally get under way, following the approval of the proposal by the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) at a recent meeting with the Culture Ministry?s Central Council of Modern Monuments.

The National Garden facelift is expected to be carried out in phases by the City of Athens, under whose jurisdiction the park?s management now falls, with the supervision of the Culture Ministry.

The first phase concerns improvements to the infrastructure and the underground irrigation and drainage networks, as well as to the park?s footpaths and the playground. Replacing urban equipment like benches and waste baskets, however, will not be part of the plan as this cost was not approved by the council. Instead, the existing equipment will be mended and spruced up.

Once phase one has been completed, another competition will be launched to select the body that designs and oversees the remodeling of the park?s infrastructure as well as the all-important and expensive task of maintaining the greenery, which is estimated to run to 6.5 million euros.

The first part of the next study, which has a budget of 370,000 euros, will concern improvements to the petting zoo, the botanical museum, the Roman mosaic and the stone wall along Irodou Attikou Street. The second part will concern plantings, pruning existing trees and shrubs and clearing the underbrush.