Central Archaeological Council Clears the Way for Investment at Former Athens Airport Site



The Central Archaeological Council (KAS) on Wednesday removed the last obstacles to the re-issue of the joint ministerial decision which will pave the way for investment at the Ellinikon Metropolitan Park by Lamda Development.

The decision of the Central Archaeological Council entails that investors must submit architectural and environmental studies for review for proposed development sites inside the declared archaeological zones and in a 20-meter zone around them — not for the entire area of the former Athens international airport.

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) and Hellinikon SA requested the change of two stipulations of the SYRIZA government ministerial decision following the KAS opinion issued on April 23, 2019.

The first concerned the ancient burial ground at Ellinikon. The organizations have now approved the relocation of the cemetery to the place of its original discovery, with its integrity and appearance ensured by providing adequate undeveloped land around it.

The applicants have requested that this protective area around the burial ground be 15 meters (49 feet) wide.

The second stipulation referred to the submission of all the studies (architectural, etc.) for the development of Ellinikon to the appropriate departments of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. This had been viewed as especially important regarding the construction of any high-rise buildings.

This condition was requested to be either amended or deleted completely.

According to Wednesday’s KAS decision, only studies on buildings and installations within declared archaeological sites will be submitted to the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and in each case only the facades of buildings on the perimeter of the development will be subject to review.

Even this review of proposed construction plans will only occur in the blocks adjacent to the archaeological sites and in a 20-meter (66-foot) wide zone around them.