Will Chios council dare demolish a local eyesore?

If the building next door to the National Bank’s neoclassical mansion in the center of Chios is demolished for aesthetic reasons, it will be a daring act of urban refurbishment. A building the local press describes as «monstrous» shot up suddenly during the junta on Ladi Street, near the sea, the castle and notable buildings. In fact, the building is no better or worse than thousands of others that went up during the junta and have been zealously reproduced ever since. Many people on Chios, led by the local paper Gnomi tis Chiou, wonder if the local authorities will dare take such an unprecedented step. The three-story building, which is currently empty, belongs to the municipality, so there is no question of expropriation, though it would normally bring in rental income. Those who oppose demolition are thinking of municipal revenues; those in favor think of the medium-range benefits. Chios Mayor Pantelis Vroulis has stated that the building «is a gross aesthetic insult to the town.» The photograph speaks for itself. The local council will discuss the matter soon and, if they decide against demolition, it will be interesting to hear their reasons in detail. If they vote in favor, they will be taking a daring initiative to meet a challenge.

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