A group of Greek citizens and Greek-Americans who are experts in the field of archives and genealogy have joined forces in order to help save and rebuild the old courthouse of the city of Sparta, originally built in 1837.
Gregory Kontos, a historian and founder of ”Support the Greek Archives” initiative, in an exclusive interview with Greek Reporter told us that this building is among the first public buildings ever to be constructed in the Greek state after its liberation from the Ottoman Empire.
The building saw the end of its days as a courthouse in 2005, when the court of Sparta was transferred to a new location. The building was then given to Greece’s General Archives to house Sparta’s local and regional archives, due to the small size of its office.
Unfortunately, since then, the absurdity of the Greek state’s bureaucracy has placed this historic building at risk. Despite years of effort by the local authorities to receive permission to restore and renovate it for the General Archives, Sparta’s old courthouse is trapped in the bureaucratic vise of the Greek State. Absurd legislation which requires a series of administrative decisions to be taken before the restoration begins has brought the project to a halt. Delay upon delay has left this opportunity untapped, with all those who work in Laconia’s archives struggling to cope in their current location, which is much too small for their needs.
In addition, Kontos told the Greek Reporter, ”There is a problem with the roof and pedestrians are not safely protected in case something falls from the old building”.
Greek authorities need to speed the processes up to renovate this historic building which could be utilized to house Laconia’s archives, the historian urged.
”This is why, apart from our efforts to raise funds to equip the local office with computers, scanners, papers and other expendables, we decided to make an online petition to raise awareness and press those responsible to do something so that Sparta’s old courthouse is saved” Kontos stated.
The online petition has already gathered more than 340 signatures, with those behind the effort hoping many more will sign it and show their support.
If you are interested in saving one of Greece’s oldest public, historic buildings, please sign the petition here.