A range of cultural sites around Attica

The Athens Festival theater performances and the events after the shows at the Tsaousoglou factory on Pireos Street were such a success that the Culture Ministry is planning to make them permanent. The ministry has decided to buy the factory complex outright and make it a cultural venue. The complex covers 3.4 hectares and comprises five buildings listed for preservation, which will be used for cinema and for performances of theater, music and dance. The courtyard will be used for art exhibitions. This space will become part of a cultural itinerary from the former royal estate at Tatoi to the Faliron Delta that the ministry is planning. «I want it to have an independent board of management and artistic director,» said Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis, who professed himself a fan of the «Athens Concert Hall model of management.» The ministry will probably get a loan from the National Bank, which owns the property, and the project may also be in line for funding from the Fourth Community Support Framework. Another major project in the pipeline is the construction of the Athens Archaeological Museum in the area of Plato’s Academy. No antiquities have been found on the site of the museum, but the space is suitable, and land use and construction terms have been settled. The museum will house the antiquities that have been found in the city of Athens in the past 50 years, including many treasures that are currently locked away in storage. Culture Ministry staff are already working on the study for the buildings, and the minister intends to include the project in a Fourth Community Support Framework program. Meanwhile in Monastiraki, an old Athenian neighborhood will come to life in a block bounded by the streets Adrianou, Areos, Kladou and Vrysakiou (which is owned by the ministry), and where the Church of Aghios Elissaios, the foundations of Aghios Thomas Church and the stairs of the Logothetis residence are situated. The building of the Avli ton Thavmaton (or Courtyard of Wonders), reputedly where the Parthenon sculptures were stored briefly before their removal to London, will become the permanent home of the Museum of Greek Folk Art.

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