A 1.55-million-euro project by the Region of Attica will highlight and upgrade the facilities of the National Observatory of Athens on the Hill of the Nymphs, in the Thissio neighbourhood of central Athens, state-run news agency ANA-MPA reported on Thursday.
The project includes building an observation platform and a multi-use hall. The surrounding area will also be landscaped and a souvenir store will sell themed objects.
The observatory currently contains a multi-use hall that can only contain 25 people, a number that will rise to 196 with the upgrade.
An Observatory spokesman said that the central scientific research institute – which also provides information on seismic activity in Greece and runs weather monitoring stations – has served research for 170 years, and the upgrade will allow the use of facilities for congresses and scientific meetings.
The Regional council's decision was welcomed by Observatory director, professor Manolis Plionis, who said the project will boost "the laborious efforts of the Observatory in recent years to increase its social presence and convey to students and society at large the results of research conducted in Greece in a way that is easy to understand."