Niarchos Foundation cultural complex to get under way in Palaio Faliro

An ambitious private initiative to build a new national library and opera house on the site of a former horse-racing track in Palaio Faliro, southern Athens, is to get under way this month after the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), which is funding the 566-million-euro project, announced on Thursday that construction consortium GEK Terna-Impregilo was handling the job.

According to Theodoros Maravelias, a spokesman for the SNF, much of the preparatory work of clearing the area has been completed and an archaeological excavation has gotten under way. ?A section of the cemetery of ancient Faliro has been found,? he said.

The deadline for the construction of the complex is December 2015.

Meanwhile the foundation has started training the staff for the library, according to Giorgos Agouridis, the head of the SNF?s cultural center who suggested that the benefactor would continue to supply funding.

?Even after delivering the project to the state, the foundation will not abandon it,? he said.