OPINION

Does all the ugliness create an allergy to beauty?

Has Athens become so ugly that the collective subconscious mind of its residents abhors, is even allergic to, the one and only pretty neighborhood the capital possesses? Maybe this explains why so many «angry youths» set off with their spray cans from every corner of the Attica basin, making their way to the foot of the Acropolis, where they sadistically smear over edifices that were so painstakingly salvaged in Plaka: From what is probably the most beautiful residence in old Athens, the Koletti House on Polygnotou Street, and all the way to whichever unguarded historical monument has been left for our pleasure without a fence or admission fee, whether it is a wall from the Roman era and Panathinaion Street in the Ancient Agora or the small mosque with the tree-shaded steps. If the Culture Ministry is unable to rectify the damage wreaked on its own buildings, and if the City of Athens and the police cannot patrol the neighborhood of the ancient gods (obviously as they are too busy with the other gods of the present day), and if we, the citizens, are too scared to tell off the manic spray-painters when we catch them in the act, let us at least follow the example of one hardware store owner on the island of Hydra, who, faced with insistent requests from three youths for spray paint in five different colors, simply answered, «Sorry, I’ve run out.» * Giorgos Kyriakopoulos is a resident of Plaka.