Athens, the capital of the Ancient Greek civilization, is unfortunately full of graffiti –apartment buildings, offices, and kiosks are all emblazoned with the spray-painted scribbles. However, the Hellenic Initiative (THI) is now on the job, working with the Athens Partnership (AP) to scrub off the graffiti found in Athens’ oldest neighborhood, Plaka.
THI was founded in 2012 by Greeks of the diaspora and philhellenes to provide direct philanthropy and aid to Greece and the Greek people. A large part of THI’s mission is to “to provide crisis relief, encourage entrepreneurs, and create jobs.”
THI has teamed up with the Athens Partnership (AP), a non profit entity that works with figures in the private and public sectors to address the needs of the community in Athens, to help clean away graffiti in Plaka, a neighborhood which dates back thousands of years.
Cleaning up graffiti in Plaka integral to tourism rebound
Such an effort will help improve the experiences of Athenians and tourists alike in the Greek capital, who will enjoy the historic district of Plaka in an untainted form.
This is a particularly important area in terms of tourism, as Plaka is one of the world’s top travel destinations. Revitalizing the district is integral to reviving Greece’s tourism sector after the devastating impact of the pandemic.
While the country took important steps to opening up to tourists, the Athens Partnership and THI will help to make Greece’s top tourism destinations even more clean and beautiful by removing existing graffiti and treating walls with products that are resistant both to graffiti and illegal posters.
The effort to beautify the ancient city of Athens
The effort to clean up Plaka is part of a wider, large-scale project headed by the City of Athens to remove graffiti from iconic areas of the city.
In the past year, the City of Athens has completed 40 cleaning and anti-graffiti projects, beautifying areas such as Omonoia Square, Monastiraki, and Panepistimiou Avenue.
Kostas Bakoyannis, the mayor of Athens, lauded THI for its commitment to beautifying the Greek capital, stating: “Step by step, with well-thought out initiatives that include public-private sector collaborations through “Adopt the City” program, we are restoring the charm and glory of the great city Athenians and visitors remember and introducing it to new friends from all over the world.
“We thank THI for its love for our city and its generous support.”
In turn, Peter Poulos, Executive Director of THI, heralded the city of Athens for its efforts to improve the ancient city, saying “As a life-long visitor to Athens, and resident since 2007, I am very impressed with the progress this administration has made in caring for and beautifying the city.
“THI is delighted to work with AP on this important project,” Poulos added.