The newly built walls at the ground floor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, northern Greece, where university authorities are planning to create a new library were destroyed by unknown vandals during the night.
Holding sledgehammers, dozens of people arrived in the early hours of Saturday morning and began to tear down the walls. Campus security informed the rector’s office and the police.
Crews had just finished the first phase of the construction during Greek Orthodox Easter.
“There is a significant damage to public property and the planned legal actions are underway. This project, the creation of a large library that will serve thousands of students and researchers, is funded by national and European funds, has dates of delivery and schedules,” said Professor Nikos Papaioannou, rector of the AUT.
“The public university is funded by the Greek taxpayer, so that their children get the education they deserve, so that the country can support its progress with our graduates…The library will be built and I have confidence in the rule of law that no criminal act will go unpunished,” he added.
The area at the Department of Biology had served as a squat and hideout for self-styled anarchists for 34 years until December 2021 when a police operation cleared it.
The university plans to use the vacated area to create a 1.3-million-euro library for the Faculty of Sciences that will serve 5,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and 350 members of the teaching staff.