After years of delays, the Greek capital’s first modern Muslim house of worship is slated for completion by the end of April, as work at the site has gotten back on track.
The tender for the 887,000-euros project, financed through the Public Investment Program, was signed with a consortium of Greece’s four biggest construction firms on October 10. Work, however, did not commence until November 4 as the site at a former navy facility in Votanikos was occupied by protesters from the far-right, which vehemently objects to the presence of a working mosque in the predominantly Christian Orthodox country. The project has also met with resistance from the Church of Greece.
The site measures a total of 1.7 hectares, which is currently being transformed to accommodate a 1,000 square meter mosque that will have a prayer area for men with a capacity of 300 people and another for women with a capacity of 50. While it will have a spring as dictated by Islamic religious convention, it will not have a minaret and broadcast prayers.
With the foundations now being laid, the consortium says it expects to deliver the site in end-April, thus ending a saga that exposed Greece to criticism for failing to comply with European directives concerning religious freedoms.