Against opposition from architects and cultural conservationists, George Voulgarakis has cleared the way for the razing of a once-protected art deco building in Athens, Greece, because the building stands in the way of a direct view of the Acropolis from the new landmark Acropolis Museum. Voulgarakis also added that demolition of the building “would allow the plot to be excavated ‘to reveal antiquities whose existence is considered highly likely.’”
The Culture Minister revoked state protection of Areopagitou 17 and 19 when the rest of the nation was focused on forest fires in the southern part of the country.
The building, standing just 300 meters from the Acropolis, was designed by Greek architect Vassilis Kouremenos, a Paris-trained friend of Pablo Picasso. Ironically, the structure was originally protected by the driving force behind the new museum, the late actress and former Culture Minister Melina Mercouri.
Two adjacent buildings on Dionyssiou Areopagitou Street will not be automatically demolished, as they are both still protected by the Ministry of Public Works. But Voulgarakis’ decision is expected to ease the way for that listing to be revoked too.
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