The members of the Central Archaeological Council (CAC) unanimously gave the go ahead to the study for the temporary removal and relocation of the antiquities at the “Venizelos” station, while constructing the Thessaloniki Metro. The meeting on this issue, which started late in the afternoon of Wednesday, September 23, was a marathon ending in the early hours.

According to statements by  Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, on Mega television, “the basic decision for the removal of the antiquities was taken after the approval of the CAC last December. On December 18, the CAC issued an opinion . One of the conditions of the decision was for the Attiko Metro to submit the study of the removal and relocation of the antiquities. That is, the antiquities are to be lifted  and with the completion of the metro’s construction works they will be repositioned. In its recent meeting the CAC examined this study which it unanimously approved”, noted the minister, adding however that now “we will have to wait for the decision of the Council of State”.

It should be recalled that a request for a cancellation of the decision for the removal and relocation of the antiquities at Venizelos station has been submitted to the Council of State by the following bodies: the Association of Greek Archaeologists, the Panhellenic Association of  Antiquities Preservers, the United Association of Employees of the Ministry of Culture of Attica, Sterea and Islands, the Association of On -Call Archaeologists, the Hellenic Society of Environment and Culture and the Christian Archaeological Society, as well as the Movement of Citizens of Thessaloniki for the Protection of Cultural Heritage. The trial is set for November 6.

“When an issue has been brought to justice we have to wait, but at the same time, because the metro is  a vital matter for Thessaloniki, we have to go ahead with our own procedures, which is why it is very important that the CAC unanimously, all 16 individuals, approved the study”, pointed out Ms. Mendoni.

The CAC meeting was interrupted by the Association of Greek Archaeologists, which said among other things that “to the extent the submitted study could be read within a few hours from the time it was delivered to the interested parties by prosecutorial order – since the Ministry of Culture declined to give it- it has the characteristics of a preliminary study and is not detailed enough”.