Greece has abandoned the Tatoi estate

Surely any civilized country and any responsible state that had the good fortune to administer 3,000 hectares of superb natural surroundings scattered with listed buildings linked to historical memories would have assumed responsibility for it. But not Greece – and at least in the case of Tatoi, the former royal estate on Mount Parnitha. It is not just another unfortunate case of the Greek public administration proving ineffective. Tatoi is a world unto itself, a place of beauty that the Greeks, due to both embarrassment and procrastination, have allowed to fall into ruin. Though the Culture Ministry listed all 40 buildings for preservation on the estate in 2003 and some repair work is always in progress (even if it is being done without any strategic plan), Tatoi has been largely destroyed. At some points the damage is irreversible. Due to looting, the passage of time and a lack of genuine interest, the deterioration is far-reaching. Yet any thinking person can see that this public space could be turned into a productive resource, a place of recreation for thousands of people, and a place where the beauties of nature are enhanced by architecture of great charm.

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