The Greek environment ministry has announced it will temporarily halt the issuance of new licenses for the construction of buildings in the area around the Acropolis after residents brought to publicity the construction of two 10- and 11-storey structures at the foot of the sacred hill, which hides part of the historical Parthenon.
The environment ministry comes after the culture ministry had said it would be calling on the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) to re-examine its approval of the buildings – set to be hotels – which are located within the archaeological area of the Acropolis, and that once completed will block the view to the world famous UNESCO heritage site.
However, it is unclear whether the two said constructions will remain in place.
On its part, the environment ministry said it would stop all construction licenses until a new zoning law ensures the protection of the urban setting. Environment Minister Giorgos Stathakis did, however, request that legal documents pertaining to the one building being erected on Falirou St be re-examined. Once completed, building inspectors will check that the building permit is properly implemented. With regard to the second building on Misarliotou St, ministry authorities said no request concerning its legality had been submitted.
At the same time, the Athens Municipality said it too had acted within its jurisdiction as foreseen by the law and had approved the buildings after building permit approvals were issued by the relevant ministries and urban planning authorities.
The municipal authority is calling on the responsible authorities to revoke the permit for the structure on Misarliotou St and to proceed with a legal framework that will safeguard Athens’ urban and architectural character.