CULTURE

Prathinai, a garage sale in Athens

An old teapot hidden in a cupboard and a pair of shoes pushed to the back of a wardrobe may now get a new lease on life thanks to Prathinai, a secondhand market taking place on Sundays in Ano Petralona, central Athens.

Based on the concept of Italy’s “mercatini” and US garage sales, Prathinai promotes the idea that one person’s stylish leftovers might very well be another one’s objects of desire. Bric-a-brac, vintage garments, footwear and accessories are among items to be found at Prathinai, whose first edition debuted at the landmark Zephyros open-air cinema on March 16.

Stemming from the Ancient Greek verb “(to) be sold,” Prathinai is the brainchild of a group of four friends.

“Coming across flea markets and yard sales while traveling abroad I thought, ‘Why not set up something similar back home?’” said Yiorgos Mo, managing director of fashion house Yiorgos Eleftheriades. “Athens is a contemporary city and is constantly adopting novel ideas.”

Joined by designer Yiorgos Eleftheriades, graphic artist Nota Drakou and food photographer George Drakopoulos, Mo explored the idea of setting up the flea market and what the project would entail in terms of a legal framework. The team picked the Zephyros cinema as the event’s venue and went on to establish Prathinai’s legal standing, which allows for private parties to sell to other private parties without having to issue a business license or pay sales taxes – professional retailers are not allowed to participate.

“It works like classified ads, where anyone and everyone can sell something,” noted Mo.

Those wishing to sell their goods at Prathinai can rent out a stand for 70 euros, while those wishing to visit the flea market are asked to pay a 2-euro entrance fee at the door. The sale of valuable items, such as major artworks and jewelry is not permitted.

Beyond scouting for rare finds, the Prathinai flea market is also about sharing personal experiences and memories, while helping the family budget.

“Sundays can be somewhat sad days so it’s nice to know that you can go out for a stroll and have something to do,” said Mo. “At Prathinai you’ll come across things which have a story to tell. It’s about a piece of culture that will add its own character to the city and, ultimately, bring people together.”

Prathinai takes place at Zephyros (36 Troon, Ano Petralona) on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 6945.151.499 or 6945.151.497 (Tue-Fri, 12-4 p.m.).