NEWS

Some projects face problems as a scheme first dreamt up in 1832 gets a new lease of life

– Monastiraki Square. The future of the study that garnered the first prize in the pan-European competition on Monastiraki Square is in doubt. Works are due to commence at the end of 2002, when Attiko Metro has completed its own works on the new metro station. But it still has not been decided whether the award-winning study (by five Greek architects) or the one approved by the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) last summer will be used. KAS members propose paving the square with large flagstones as opposed to the multicolored mosaic in the original survey. The architectural team pointed out that large flags would dwarf such a small area, which recommended the use of small stones. Regardless of how the matter turns out, the competition for Monastiraki Square demands that architectural competitions held by the Greek State should be respected. Should the opinion of archaeologists weigh more in a question of modern urban design, rendering such a competition vain? President Yiannis Kalantidis of EAHA has hinted that he would do whatever was possible to ensure the implementation of the first scheme. – Vassilisis Olgas. The avenue will be pedestrianized so that the site of the Temple of Olympian Zeus will be joined to Zappeion and the pedestrianized road link of Apostolou Pavlou and Dionysiou Areopagitou be continued all the way to the Panathenaic Stadium. Only bus and trolley lanes will be left open; drainage systems will be improved, trees and shrubs planted and the road surface and sidewalks repaved. Officially, all is going well. Behind the scenes, however, the Olympic Games organizing committee Athens 2004 has expressed its opposition to pedestrianization for fear that the surrounding roads will not be able to cope with the volume of traffic during the Olympic Games. EAHA proceeded with a new traffic survey which suggests only a slight increase in the volume of traffic and consequently believes that all will go smoothly. The auction has already taken place and the works are not expected to last longer than seven months. – The golden triangle. The unification of archaeological sites has resuscitated a scheme dreamt up in 1832 by architects Stamatis Kleanthis and Eduard Schaubert – the setting aside of the Kerameikos-Gazi-Metaxourgeio area as a cultural and artistic center which would complement the large Athenian squares, the administrative hub of Syntagma and the commercial one of Omonia. Many ideas have since been bandied about, including the sinking of Pireos Street at the junction with Iera Odos in order to form a square which would form the third side of the triangle. This scheme was quickly abandoned (as was that of Amalias Ave.) for a number of reasons, of which the likelihood of finding archaeological remains was the most important. Instead, Koreatiki Agora will be expropriated and turned into a park as will the metro works area at the junction of Pireos and Iera Odos streets. These are useful initiatives no doubt, but they fall far short of the original aims. United Yugoslavia