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Friday, March 5, 2021

Forty anti-graffiti companies in Athens - Cleaned 19.000 sq.m. city's


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For decades, the main streets of Athens, but also many of its corners, had been handed over to smudges 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.

Athens turned into a field of anarchic graffiti, without control and without consequences. Conditions that were even used by "visitors" of other countries, where strict restrictions were applied for those who wanted to do graffiti. Result; Kilometers of surfaces, covered by unsightly designs that did nothing more than hide the city.

Picturesque corners of Athens, monuments, statues, shop facades, parks, "drowned" by the paint and slogans and the color of emblematic places of the city, was replaced by misery and black.

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.

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To date, there have been 40 anti-graffiti companies. 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 neighborhoods. The most recent, which was completed a few days ago, took place at the Academy. A company that restored its surfaces, clean and bright. In the Academy, as in all areas where business is done, a special anti-graffiti coating is applied, so that in the future it is easy to remove the paint.

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 creation with the light of the city.

In the same strategy, the new cleaning regulation is moving, which will soon be put to consultation and provides for fines for those who continue to violate the right of Athenians and visitors to the city to enjoy it clean.

They are fines against graffiti in archeological sites, monuments, statues, public and municipal buildings, in urban equipment but also against poster pollution and advertising stickers on the walls and columns of Athens.

These are the axes of the plan, as analyzed by the Mayor of Athens, Costas Bakogiannis, with the aim of "Revealing the real Athens under the smudge".

"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 neighborhood 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 "adds Mr. Bakoyannis.

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