A landmark windmill of Mykonos was vandalized after it was sprayed with graffiti, it emerged over the weekend.
Local police are investigating the vandalism that is assumed to have taken place in the early hours of Saturday morning.
First time in recent history a Mykonos windmill is vandalized
Local site mykonoslive.gr says that this is the very first time in recent history that any of the windmills have been vandalized.
The magnificent windmills of Mykonos account for one of the most iconic images of Greece.
They’re not just tourist landmarks. In fact, windmills on the island of Mykonos were active and functioning until the early 20th century.
The anatomy of the windmill
Tradition calls for the windmill from the Cycladic islands to be a heavy three-story building, circular in shape and constructed of stone.
Many of them have very small windows and a pointed roof, often made of wood.
The windmills’ tops are traditionally made of twelve wooden fan blades each with a triangular-shaped wing made from a very strong fabric—usually, the same cotton canvas used for sails in boats.
When the wind blows, the windmill transfers the movement to a central axis inside the building, forcing the grindstones below into a rotational movement.
In order to take advantage of the force of that movement at its strongest, the grinding mechanism used to be on the top floor while the flour was gathered on the second floor.
The ground floor was used to store raw grain and processed flour.
On the Aegean islands, windmills took advantage of the northern wind, called the Meltemi, to grind barley, wheat, and other locally produced cereals.
On Mykonos, the resulting flour was either returned to farmers, who baked their own bread, or sold to local bakers.
Some of that resulting flour was also shipped to other areas of Greece and, oftentimes, abroad.
History tells us that there were over 25 windmills on Mykonos; ten of these were part of the complex called Kato Mili, which means the “lower mills.”