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News: Cultural Heritage
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The main house of the Antouaniko estate in Chios, after its restoration. Photo: Emmanouil Vournous
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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Antouaniko mansion wins Europa Nostra award

Kambos / Chios

The area to the south of Chios city is known as Kambos. It is completely flat and covered by a dense network of small roads. Most of the land is planted with citrus trees. The orchards are individually surrounded by high stone fences to protect the trees from wind and dust. The scenery of Kambos is distinctive and bears little resemblance to that of the other Aegean Islands. Antouaniko is one of the garden estates in the area. The main house was built in 1893, but older structures, such as the irrigation system of the citrus plantation, survive within the estate.

The Antouaniko mansion is among the 2015 winners of the Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. The jury was impressed of the rehabilitation project of the Antouaniko mansion, situated in one of the most distinctive and characterful cultural landscapes of Europe, “which succeeded in reinstating a complete example of the unique mixed character of this historic complex, combining residential and agricultural uses.” 

Work at Antouaniko included structural repairs, conservation of the main house and conversion of auxiliary buildings into residential spaces, mostly for holiday use, as well as extended restoration works on the irrigation system. The relationship between built and natural environment was reinstated, following the original, as a vacation house with agricultural development surrounding it, with all the intervening spaces, structures and qualities conserved.

The Jury also especially appreciated the high quality of the restoration work, which comprised the recovery of traditional building techniques and pre-industrial agricultural systems, the employment and enhancement of local craftsmanship, as well as the renewal of the original relationship between built and natural environment. The Jury regarded the project as a model for similar works, which will be necessary if the authenticity of this valuable historic area is to be maintained.