19,000 sq.m. of Athens cleaned from graffiti in massive campaign

19,000 sq.m. of Athens cleaned from graffiti in massive campaign

Over 40 operations were completed as part of the initiative that was a first in the Greek capital

Over 19,000 square metres of surface in the Greek capital of Athens have been swiped clean of graffiti as part of a largescale operation involving 40 separate cleaning actions. This is the first time that a similar project has been undertaken on such a massive scale in the city and local authorities are extremely pleased with the result.

Bringing back the city to its former glory

According to city officials, for decades, the main streets of Athens and many of its corners had been handed over to the smudge and anarchic graffiti. Over the years, artistic expression and creation in public spaces became "entangled" with any form of mark on the walls and large surfaces.

In this situation, Athens had to give an answer. By cleaning and implementing a plan that will organize the interventions on the surfaces of public spaces. Thus, the Municipality of Athens, in the first phase, started a barrage of companies to clean all these surfaces.

To date, there have been 40 anti-graffiti actions and about 19,000 sq.m. have been cleaned. Stone, marble and glass surfaces, metal fences, shop shutters and columns, have been given to the city clean, after the effort of the cleaning team and the important contribution of the program "Adopt your city", in which organizations and companies participated.

They are interventions that have been made in places that have been connected with the History and the culture of Athens, but also with its daily life. Surfaces were cleaned in Anafiotika, in a very large part of Patission, in Ermou, in Thiseio, in Stadiou but also in dozens of places in the neighbourhoods.

At the same time, an organized effort was launched to allocate spaces so that groups of artists could create works that turned "indifferent" points into paintings. Cafes, walls, large surfaces, now host works by people who want to combine creativity with the light of the city.

The entire operation, however, is part of a larger plan by the municipality of Athens as it tries to intertwine the many aspects of the problem and resolve them with a single stroke.

"Cleaning, places of creation, effects. With this triptych, our strategy has begun to spread throughout Athens. On the one hand, to reveal the true picture of the city and on the other hand, to send a message that says that the right of Athenians to live in a clean neighbourhood is inalienable, is respect for their quality of life. What matters now is to stick to these big cleaning companies, to erase all this misery from our daily lives. And this is what we do " explained Kostas Bakoyannis, the mayor of Athens.

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