The Attica Regional Authority has hastened to replace seven new signposts at the capital’s Pedion tou Areos rendering the iconic city park’s name in English as “Mars Field.”
The removal of the signposts comes after the translation sparked a barrage of humorous and scathing comments in the social and news media, the most critical of which took offense with the ancient Greek god Ares being named as the Roman god Mars.
Responding to the clamor in an announcement on Wednesday, the Attica Regional Authority said the new signposts were placed at the park’s seven main entrances and contain information – in Greek and English – on the park’s main features, while also making the 27.7-hectare expanse easier to navigate.
“There was absolutely no intention to alter or distort – even in English – the identity of this historic space. Nevertheless, respecting the sensitivities of many of our fellow citizens we will be replacing the signposts at once,” said the authority, which has carried out numerous interventions and improvements across the park in a bid to revive its popularity. It added that the new signposts will simply render the name as “Pedion tou Areos.”
Pedion tou Areos was designed in 1934 in honor of the heroes of the 1821 Greek War of Independence, hence its being named after the god of war. It was also inspired by Paris’ Champ de Mars.