The Central Archaeological Council (KAS) has decided to investigate complaints that construction plans for two hotels south of the Athens Acropolis violate height rules and obstruct views of the monument.
In a unanimous decision on Tuesday, the Council members said that teams will be sent next Monday to examine the building sites in question, one located at the corner of Misaraliotou and Tsami Karatasi streets in Koukaki and a second on the corner of the Syggrou Avenue side road and Falirou Street in Makrygianni.
The Council was acting on press reports and complaints lodged by local residents against the construction of the two hotels, which are to be nine storeys and 10 storeys high, respectively.
According to an announcement, the culture ministry intends to work together with the environment and energy ministry, with the latter responsible for issuing building permits, to launch joint initiatives to protect the city’s cultural identity, size-related plasticity, monuments and social values relating to its built environment.
The environment ministry is to set up a working group to review building regulations in the area around the Acropolis, especially in the Makrygianni and Koukaki neighbourhoods, while Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis intends to temporarily suspend building permits for the area south of the Acropolis. In the context of this decision, the two cases were re-examined by KAS on Tuesday.
According to residents lodging the complaint, the erection of the 31.70-metre-high building will create a “wall” of 10-storey buildings around the Acropolis in Makrygianni. For the second building in Koukaki, designed to stand 37 metres high, the complaint states that the building plans had not been submitted for approval to the Athens antiquities ephorate and all culture ministry departments, as required by the original approval given by KAS and the environment minister.
According the KAS President Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki, the two buildings were outside the controlled height zone for the Acropolis normally monitored by the culture ministry, which was usually only consulted for the area south of the Acropolis in relation to excavations.