The ruined houses in Mets on Ardittou Street, almost directly opposite Athens’s municipal swimming pool, are one of the many «temporary» aspects of present-day Athens that we have grown used to. Nobody seems to be bothered; in any case, we put up with a lot worse. The location has been identified as the site of part of the temple of Artemis Agrotera. There are no visible remains of the temple, apart from the base, according to an official of the Culture Ministry at its Department for Archaeological Sites. For many years now, the houses have been declared subject to expropriation so that the temple can be excavated. The official claimed that examination of the issue by the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) is pending – and has been for the past 10 years. «We’re waiting for orders,» was how he rather elegantly put it. That the issue has dragged out for so long can only have two explanations: either its has been bogged down in Greek red tape or ministerial heads have yet to be convinced of the need to expropriate the houses.