In the past years Athens' central and most emblematic square has been damaged repeatedly as marble tiling was removed and broken by protesters to hurl at police, surfaces were vandalized by graffiti, statues were defaced.
The time has now come for the iconic square to regain the charm and grace it once had and deserves., and all through the sponsorship of a private individual.
Shipping magnate Thanasis Laskaridis, owner of the prestigious hotels Grande Bretagne and King George that border the square, has undertaken to fund the revamping efforts to restore the square to a pristine condition.
It took time and a lot of hurdles to overcome before the process could actually get underway. More than a year ago Mr Laskaridis voiced his desire to fund the restoration of the square. However, the square is considered a listed site and therefore the process necessitated approval from the culture ministry's central council for newer monuments.
The cost of the study and the restoration works is around 1.5 million euros. The study foresees the renovation of the fountain that was built in 1840, and the installation of a new mechanism.
Works also include cleaning of marble surfaces and replacement of broken tiles, special treatment for surfaces to make them more resistant, reinforcement of pavement where at times heavy municipal vehicles mount the square (i.e. for the installation of holiday décor). Benches are being replaced, and new lighting fixtures were specially ordered from Spain.