University damage exceeds first fears

The level of destruction by rioters at some of Athens’s universities is much higher than first suggested or thought, journalists discovered yesterday as they were allowed to visit some of the institutions. Despite efforts to clean up the mess left behind by the groups that took over the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), or Polytechnic, for more than two weeks, it was clear yesterday that one of the school’s main buildings, on Patission Street, has been completely ransacked. «The Gini building is not operational and has suffered some serious damage,» the head of the NTUA’s Civil Engineering Department, Mary Mimikou, told Kathimerini. «The destruction is much greater than previously suggested.» The marble fixtures throughout the building have been completely destroyed, smashed by rioters looking for objects to throw at police. Doors have been broken down, windows shattered and sinks and toilets smashed. Stools are also missing from the building. Slogans in various languages, including Albanian, Russian, Romanian, French and English, as well as Greek have been daubed on the walls. The NTUA’s other buildings appear to have been spared such widespread damage. The Athens Law School, however, has not escaped lightly from the recent unrest. The rector of Athens University, Christos Kittas, said that the damage to the building, including its library, would cost approximately 500,000 euros to repair.

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