The Plenary Session of the Council of State published three decisions (991-993 / 2021) approving the removal, transfer and relocation, following the works’ completion, of the antiquities uncovered at the Venizelos station of the Thessaloniki Metro.

It should be noted that after April 19, 2021 the Ministry of Culture and Sports had announced the final content of the Council of State’s decisions, immediately after the conference held that day by the State Councilors.

The Plenary Session of the CoS (chaired by Mary Sharp and with State Counselor Dimitrios Vassiliadis acting as rapporteur) has now published its decisions, by which, with a marginal majority, all the contested decisions of the Ministry of Culture on the controversial issue of the transfer of archaeological finds were considered constitutional, legal and in accordance with international conventions.

More specifically, with the decisions of the Plenary Session of the CoS, three applications for annulment were rejected against the decision of the Ministry of Culture dated 4.3.2020, which, following the opinion of the Central Archaeological Council (KAS), approved the study submitted by Attiko Metro SA for the construction of the Venizelos Station of the Thessaloniki Metro, with the temporary removal of the antiquities discovered at the station, before the start of the construction and their repositioning by 92%, after the completion of the works. It has been argued that in this way it will be possible to combine the antiquities’ protection and enhancement with the need for a timely and safe completion of the infrastructure project mentioned above, without endangering the safety of employees and antiquities, as well as putting a strain on national resources.