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Makrigianni’s museum: For better or for worse?

July 22, 2008

I was told that Makrigianni had changed, but when I arrived in my neighborhood I was still taken by surprise.

There was a roomy pedestrian avenue where there had once been a parking lot filled with backfiring scooters and drivers that seemed to want me dead. Compared to last summer, it seemed that twice the number of patrons lounged on twice the number of cafe chairs on the newly upgraded Makrigianni Street. The sidewalk in front of the museum was broad, clean and new. Beyond the fence that borders it, vital young olive trees dotted the verdant slope of the museum lawn. 

However, the sidewalks across the street were still old and crumbling and quiet reined over on Chatzichristou. I still skirted potholes and loose tile on my way home, though I could watch the museum glow in the sunset from my balcony.

The new museum alternately blinded the neighborhood with the glare of its gleaming edifice (and of the publicity surrounding it) and cloaked it in an imposing shadow. Everyone seemed to know about the museum, but the neighborhood? What did the residents think? That was my first assignment from Athens News.

Check out the brief on the fate of 17 and 19 Dionysiou Areopagitou Street: Court stops demolition

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