Athens’ Mayor Moves to Rid City Spots of Graffiti

ATHENS – The Mayor of Greece’s capital, Kostas Bakoyannis is stepping up plans to clean up the grimy city, this time targeting a noted spot for graffiti that has been allowed to proliferate for years, defacing even classical buildings and universities elsewhere in the city.

One of the largest campaigns ever undertaken to get rid of graffiti has been going on during the late stages of a lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus with people off the streets for the most part.

The first project involves a stone wall about 200 meters (656 feet) long and 3 meters (9.84 feet) high that runs alongside the ISAP electric railway line connecting Monastiraki station with Thiseio, separating train tracks from the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora.

The wall has been vandalized in recent years at almost every point, making restoration work difficult, especially with cleaning crews having only a few hours each night to remove the vandalism when the trains aren’t running.

So far, more than 100 liters of special solvent and several tons of water have been used to scrub a large section of the wall, said Kathimerini, while a wall in the nearby Thiseio Park, located next to the ISAP station, has also been cleaned in recent days.

“It is a battle in which the City of Athens will not back down,” Bakoyannis said.

One of the major spots for graffiti is the anarchist haven of Exarchia, where police had been going in to apprehend criminals and people unlawfully occupying buildings, many of which are smeared with graffiti.


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