Greece’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS), responsible for the protection of the country’s cultural heritage, announced that the owner of a hotel constructed and operating in the historic centre of Athens blocking the view to the Acropolis will be required to demolish its two top floors, reported GTP Headlines.
The decision comes after the Council of State ruled last year to revoke a permit allowing the erection of the 10-storey building in the Koukaki neighbourhood at the foot of the Acropolis, which had spurred the angry reaction of locals in February 2019, claiming the building was located within the archaeological area of the Acropolis, and that once completed would block the view to the world famous UNESCO heritage site.
The protests, which were backed by Europe’s federation for the protection of cultural heritage Europe Nostra, regarded two constructions: on Misarliotou St and Falirou St that were given licences for 31.70 meters and 37 meters, respectively. The KAS decision now sets the allowed height at 24 meters.
Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni announced the decision on the demolition of the 5-star hotel’s two top floors. She said the ruling was a difficult one to make in that the Council had to decide on an existing hotel as well as with regard to the entrepreneur’s rights, “but aside from that, the Acropolis had to be protected.”
“It is important that we are all united to be able to shield institutionally and legally, in the best way, the Holy Rock”, Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis commented.
It should be reminded that the KAS had initially approved of the project, which was brought to public attention after protest campaign by locals and community groups forced authorities to re-examine the licenses granted.
In operation for almost a year, the 93-room Coco-Mat Athens BC belongs to Coco-mat Hotels & Resorts and is located on Falirou St.
*Source: GTP Headlines