ATHENS, GREECE.- Two listed buildings are in danger of being torn down in Athens to provide a better view of the Parthenon from the new museum. One of the buildings is an Art Deco gem designated a monument in its own right at No. 17 Dionyssiou Areopagitou St. was built by Vassilis Kouremenos, a graduate of Paris' Ecole des Beaux Arts and reportedly a friend of Pablo Picasso. The other building is owned by Oscar-winning composer Vangelis Papathanassiou of Chariots of Fire fame.
Kostas Stamatopoulos of the Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage said, It is probably the most impressive example of its kind."
The building has a pink marbled exterior, a mosaic of Oedipus and the Sphinx adorning the top story and marble statues of women in traditional dress flanking the wrought iron door.
These two buildings stand between the new museum and the Acropolis. A visitor looking out from the museum towards the Parthenon would see the two buildings' rear facade of plain, charmless walls.
Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis announced in May that the two buildings would be removed. Greece's archaeological council voted in early July to revoke the listed status of the more significant Art Deco building and allow its demolition. An e-mail campaign was launched by outraged residents and architects to save the two buildings. An internet blog has also been set up.