Protests mount over tall buildings around Acropolis


Local residents protesting the construction of 10-story buildings around the Acropolis hill in Athens have so far collected more than 4,100 signatures on the Avaaz petition platform.

The Hellenic Society of Environment and Culture said it is "unacceptable" that tall buildings be allowed to spoil the view of the Acropolis.

As they watch their coveted view of the ancient citadel gradually disappear with every new floor that goes up, meanwhile residents of the downtown neighborhood of Makriyiani are also planning to take recourse to the Council of State.

Architect Irini Frezadou, who spearheaded the residents' protest, tells Kathimerini that while the Falirou Street building – which is near completion – is legal according to new zoning laws that offer additional height in exchange for “green” architecture, the project was not put forward for approval at the Central Archaeological Council, which is responsible for assessing all initiatives that influence the country's archaeological and historical monuments.

Moreover, she adds, a second 10-story building started going up on nearby Misaraliotou Street in October, further angering residents, who are demanding measures to protect the area from excessive construction.

In response, the Environment Ministry has tasked a committee to examine the lowering of the building coefficient which regulates the ratio of building to plot in the surrounding areas.