For the first time in two decades, Athens is investing heavily in its architectural heritage

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For the first time in two decades, Athens is investing heavily in its architectural heritage

Most of the buildings in the city were built before the 1970s and have been abandoned to chip their unique facades and collect soot

Yesterday, local authorities in Athens launched what they call “mammoth‘Program for the renovation of the architectural heritage of the city. More than half of the buildings in the Greek capital were built before 1970swhile six out of ten in the city center were built before the 1960s.

Many of these historic buildings have been neglected over the years, their color has faded, facades have crumbled or layers of soot have accumulated from traffic. Moreover, the last time city officials implemented a similar program was 19 years ago, just before the Greek capital hosted the 2004 Olympic Games.

After this Market crash 2008, the Greek economy began to shrink while successive governments had to balance various types of austerity measures for about 15 years, preventing many public projects. Interestingly, acc The World Bankthe current Greek GDP is lower than in 2003.

Nevertheless, the local authorities have decided to assign 1.5 million euros included in the program and encourage private owners to take the initiative.

Revert green

According to the city, the funds are intended to help renovate, maintain and aesthetically enhance building facades and to finance greening projects for facades, gardens and roofs. In addition, they should also turn to projects aimed at “ridding” buildings of added elements that transform their architectural style and return colour, light and life to the Athenian urban environment.

The program includes applications from homeowners from all private buildings in the community, including single family homes, semi-detached homes, multi-family homes and listed cultural heritage sites.

The maximum subsidy for repairs, new coats of paint, etc. is limited to 6,000 euros. At the same time, in cases where buildings require restoration work on plastic ornaments and the like, the subsidy could be as high as $7,200 per building.

Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis was quoted in a press release as saying: “The old and worn buildings of Athens, many of them of unique architectural beauty and history, abandoned for years and covered in the gray of pollution, will be able to find new life on the city’s canvas. ”

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