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Society

Newly-Renovated Athens Omonia Square Opening in February

January 28, 2020

ATHENS – Hidden behind a fence, the finished work to renovate the dirty, decrepit Omonia Square in the Greek capital will be revealed in February and said to bring back a fountain that had been removed more than 20 years earlier.

Ironically, the work is being done under the aegis of Mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis, undoing a previous much-criticized facelift of the area under the administration of his mother, fellow New Democracy stalwart Dora Bakoyianni, when she was Mayor from 2002-06.

The Athens City Council said the work will be done with reports indicating that it’s being accompanied by the opening of new hotels in an area that had been in decay and seen hotels and businesses close during a near decade-long economic and austerity crisis.

The square had become a hangout for criminals, drug dealers, prostitutes and unlawful refugees and immigrants, the square that’s surrounded by grimy, abandoned buildings gone to seed symbolizing the country’s fall during the crisis.

The historic Bageion and Alexandros hotels are to reopen, said Kathimerini. The four-story Bageion Hotel, on the corner of Athinas Street, was constructed between 1890 and 1894 based on plans by the architect Ernst Ziller.

Omonia is a key center of urban life for Athens and has gone through many transformations over the years and during the 1960’s had a giant fountain in the middle, around which a rotary of traffic makes access difficult between points without using the underground subway walks.

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