This building was designed in 1930 by architect Vassilis Kouremenos (1875 – 1957). He was from Epirus, an honours graduate of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris,member of the Athens Academy from its inception, Professor at the National
Polytechnic, painter, friend of Eleftherios Venizelos and Pablo
Picasso. He worked in Athens,Paris, Istanbul and Dublin and received prestigious awards.
The façade is decorated with mosaics, sculptures and grey and pink marble. The mosaics depict Oedipus and the Sphinx
(right) and the return of Theseus (left). The women by the door wear traditional dress from Dropoli in Epirus. According
to architecture historians, the building is a significant early 20th century monument and the most beautiful Art Deco specimen in Athens . It marks the shift from classicism to
modernism in an ideal synthesis.
It was listed as Protected by the Ministry of Physical Planning in 1978, along with another eight on the same street, and as a Work of Art by the Culture Ministry in 1988. It stands in front of the site were the New Acropolis Museum was recently built. The official guidelines for the designs of the New Acropolis Museum explicitly stated that the buildings at numbers 17 and 19 would remain in place. The New Museum was allowed a height of several more meters than neighbouring buildings, so that it could have a “dialogue
with the Parthenon.”
The fact that the Museum would not be visible from street
level was one reason why the design was approved.
Now, in a sudden change of mind, some officials want to demolish this building (and its neighbour at number 19),
so that the lower levels of the Museum can have a better view to the Acropolis–especially the restaurantterrace.
Is that what we want? If not please send your message of support to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, and we shall forward it to the appropriate authorities.