The capital’s prefect and mayor, Yiannis Sgouros and Nikitas Kaklamanis respectively, yesterday heralded a 6.45-million-euro project to revamp the National Garden in central Athens next year. The project is to start with an upgrade of the park’s infrastructure, including the renovation of a children’s playground and small zoo, the cleaning of the ponds and the replacement of lighting fixtures, the officials told a joint press conference. A second phase is to see the introduction of new greenery and the removal of dead plants and trees. There are also plans to install a new fence as well as modernized plumbing and security systems. According to Kaklamanis, the project – which is to be launched in the first three months of 2011 and concluded a year later – will elevate the park to world-class level. «After the Acropolis, the National Garden is one of the capital’s five most significant landmarks,» Kaklamanis said. «When this initiative has been completed, it will be just as good as any other park in Europe,» he added.