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Society

Athens Moves to Strip Graffiti, Posters from Downtown

ATHENS – After rebuilding the main Omonia Square – and adding a fountain,  Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis next move to clean up the capital is removing graffiti and posters downtown.

It began with crews working through the  central Patission Street and heading to the major shopping avenue of Athinas Street, home to fish, meat and spices market, leading from Omonia to the major tourist hub of Monistiraki.

The drive, called Adopt your City, is designed to get rid of the tag-style graffiti on buildings, electricity pylons and shop shutters, as well as stripping off layers of decaying posters, though some of the more creative murals deemed art are to be preserved, said Kathimerini.

In most cases, spray paint can be removed with water, Deputy Mayor Nikos Avramidis told the paper, but acrylic paints are harder to remove with cleaning crews needing special hot-water pressure washers to clean surfaces before applying an anti-graffiti and hydrophobic coating that make new graffiti easier to remove.

The anti-graffiti campaign, one of the biggest in years, began in the capital’s historic center in May, during a lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, when streets were essentially empty.

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