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Ministries to review building permissions of multi-story hotels close to Acropolis

The residents’ strong reactions to the construction of two multi-story hotel buildings at the foot of Acropolis forced two Greek Culture Ministry to take action and review the building permissions of these two investment projects.

The Ministries of Culture & Sport and Environment & Energy will cooperate in order to review  all relevant parameters and procedures, to the extent of their competencies, in order to identify any gaps or omissions and to find alternatives to preserving the city’s memory, its cultural identity, its monuments and the social values ​​associated with its built environment, a joint statement said late on Wednesday..

The statement said that the two buildings under construction, one on Faliro Street and one on Misaraliotou Street, are within the boundaries of the archaeological district of the city of Athens and it will reconsider their permission in cooperation with the Environment and Energy Ministry.

At the same time, the Ministry of the Interior will proceed to review the two specific cases and re-introduce them to the Central Archaeological Council (CAC), which also has responsibility as the constructions are in the archaeological boundaries of Athens.

  • for the case of the 10-story building (Faliro str), the permissions issued by the Urban Planning will be relation to the required approvals, with a parallel request to the City of Athens for the issued town planning permits
  • for the second case (Misariliotou str), as part of the administrative procedure as no permission request has been submitted so far at the Energy Ministry.

It is reminded that according to the Presidential Decree (Government Gazette 53 / D / 1975), the Ministry of Environment  controls the heights in the area between D. Areopagitou, Makrigianni, Roverto Galli and Erechtheion streets. For properties outside this area as the two cases, the approval by the Greek Archaeological Council is needed.

“The view [at Acropolis] is a cultural asset and can not in any case be transformed into the privilege of some,” said Minister of Culture and Sports, Myrsini Zorba.

“We must, even when the privileges are hidden in administrative acts, regulations and building conditions, to respond to the protest of the civil society in order to have a sense of justice and justice. That is why we will be scrutinizing all the parameters and procedures and we are in consultation with George Stathakis, so that we can take the right decisions in a coordinated way as a state, in the extend of our responsibilities. ”

“The city of Athens is a self-evident point of reference in the collective effort for social, environmental and economic reconstruction of the country after the many years of the crisis,” noted Minister of Environment and Energy, George Stathakis. “Our steady orientation is to address residential distortions within the framework of a single spatial and urban planning policy. We insist on initiatives to improve the quality of the public space by reviewing the guidelines of the development model, with reference to the protection and integrated management of the natural and cultural heritage. ”

No matter what the two ministers said and promised to do, local residents plant to file the case at Greece’s Supreme Court and let it decide whether a wall of high hotels could be allowed at the foot of Acropolis.

The point is not just the privilege of an exclusive view at Acropolis but also to protect the urban area from ugly alternation and pollution.

Read KTG article of Feb 20: Investment at any price? Residents protest construction of 10-story building close to Acropolis.

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