Archaeologists say law will be violated if Hellinikon is not declared of archaeological interest

The Association of Greek Archaeologists (AGA) warned on Tuesday that the ministry of Culture will be violating the law if it does not declare the sections of the site of the old airport in Hellinikon of archaeological interest, and warned of possible legal action against Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou.

In its request, sent to Koniordou and the head of the Central Archaeological Council (KAS), AGA says it completed and submitted in time all the necessary administrative actions required by article 12 of Law 3028/02 on the demarcation of archaeological sites and it now expects the ministry and KAS to complete the procedure by declaring Hellinikon of archaeological interest.

“Any decision on the approval of the [Hellinikon] master plan […] without previously declaring it of archaeological interest, on the basis of the previous field research and sufficient archaeological evidence properly submitted, constitutes a direct violation of article 12,” the association said.

“The not implementation of the law will constitute an omission of a legitimate action of the administration, which will be borne solely by the political leadership of the ministry of Culture and you as minister,” AGA added.

If the minister doesn’t act, the association “reserves the right to exercise all its legitimate rights before all the courts of the country.”

KAS is scheduled to meet on Wednesday at 16:30 to approve or reject the master plan for the development of Hellinikon. AGA called for a protest rally outside the ministry at the same time.

A consortium of Abu Dhabi and Chinese investors led by Greece’s Lamda Development will spend 7.9 billion euros to transform the airport complex into a metropolitan park complete with luxury hotels, theme parks, museums, malls, cultural venues, health centers, educational and research facilities.