Acropolis Area Residents Want View-Spoiling High-Rises Blocked

A man walks at Filopappos hill as at the background is seen the ancient Acropolis hill with the 500BC Parthenon temple, after a snowfall in Athens , on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Fearing they – and others – will lose a treasured view of the Acropolis, residents of the neighborhood are trying to stop construction of 10-story buildings around the hill that will shut them out of a look at Greece’s most cherished site.

The Hellenic Society of Environment and Culture, the Friends of Athens Society and 11 residents appealed to the country’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, challenging a decision by Culture Minister Myrsini Zorba in October 2018 which okayed the building of another high-rise on Misaraliotou Street.

The ministry said it would take another look at the decision, said Kathimerini, although residents were said to be skeptical and disbelieving, saying the initial approval was “wrong and illegal” and want the ongoing construction stopped.

The appeal challenges existing legal framework and its subsequent amendments over the last four decades that apply in the Makrygianni neighborhood on the southern side of the Acropolis, the paper said.

The residents and groups opposed to the high-rises said it would spoil the view of the Acropolis and a petition onon the Avaaz online platform had collected 13,000 signatures by Feb. 21, a jum of 9,000 in three days.

Residents of the neighborhood said they became wary when a high-rise was being built on Falirou Street and dwarfed buildings around it. There was no report who the developers were of the buildings.

Architect Irini Frezadou, who is leading the protest, told the paper that while the Falirou Street building is legal according to zoning laws allowing additional height in exchange for “green” architecture, the project was not put forward for approval at the Central Archaeological Council, which has oversight of works affecting the country’s archaeological and historic monuments.