Current legal situation

In principle, all buildings built after 1830, the year the Greek state was set up, are classified as modern monuments. According to Law 3028/2002, buildings that are 100 or more years old are potentially classifiable as listed. This means that if you have a building dating from 1905 that you want to demolish or renovate, the town-planning authority must pass on the application to the Culture Ministry service which must make an on-the-spot inspection before giving its approval. If the building is of no particular architectural value, you are free to go ahead. The 100-year cutoff means that nearly all neoclassical buildings are protected, but theoretically, the Culture Ministry has the right to give approval for the renovation or demolition even of buildings completed last year. In reality however, all post-1905 buildings are not protected; in order for one to be listed, action is required from either the owner, who needs to apply to the ministry (a rare occurrence since declaration of a building as listed has become tantamount to «expropriation»), or the ministry services themselves. Given the slow pace at which the civil service wheels turn, one can only imagine how long this would take. So even if you want to demolish a house by Nikos Valsamakis or a country home by Aris Constantinidis, the zoning authorities are not likely to stop you.