Menis Koumandareas: Save the Municipal Market of Kypseli

«Every morning when I open my window, the first thing I see is the Municipal Market, that lovely building whose facade looks out over Fokionos Negri. I see it looking aged, spoiled, closed, dilapidated, surrounded by trash bins that are always overflowing, an offense to the eyes and the nose. And as I go down the stairs, the broken pavement on Iakinthos Street greets me. It is not the only sidewalk in Kypseli, and that’s why passers-by do not hesitate to finish it off – throw away paper, leftovers and garbage, while their dogs on their leashes treat it likewise. «There is no policing by the municipal authorities, no care. I’m not a devotee of the antique; I don’t dream of old Athens. Every place undergoes changes that time and usage justify. But this mess pains me, who has the reputation of being someone who writes about Athens, who adores Athens, and who doesn’t even mind kitsch sometimes. «Please fix up the market for us and set an example for the surrounding area. Make it a cultural center, a theater, an agora in the ancient sense; make something beautiful and useful. Don’t let this historic building go to ruin. The municipality, the Culture Ministry, let whoever is responsible take care of it. Give it a second youth; make it useful to the public and a jewel of the neighborhood. The young people who are growing up now will thank us, and it will give the elderly something to smile about.» – Menis Koumandareas is a writer.

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