Our civilization, which has both a tangible and an intangible side to it, was born of the dialectical relationship between Man and environment. The material part of our civilization that is more tangible and concrete, forms the so called “cultural environment”, which may be preserved by enacting special legal dispositions for its protection. The legislator relies on science and art in order to define it, and has set until now many rules of law of various legal validity- even constitutional articles for its preservation. The law, of course, has to make such protection concrete and effective.
For many years the “Council of State” has judged, that archaeological and historical sites as well as “traditional’ buildings and settlements, need to be declared as such by the Administration by a personal administrative act, It is also requested that permission be granted by the Administration for any kind of work on them. The property may also be confiscated for an archeological search and excavations or if it hinders the view of or access to a monument.” Traditional” buildings, in particular, are liable to the same legal dispositions even it they are dilapidated and the cost of restoration is disproportionate. In this case the charge of restoration is transferred to the State or to the Local Administration. There are also restrictions on the external appearence of buildings which are included in “traditional” settlements:
The Greek tribunals are real bastions for the protection of our “cultural environment”. The “Council of State” specifically, based upon the 1975 Constitution wherein this protection is introduced, has even pronounced as unconstitutional a disposition of law.Justice, in general, accomplishes its mission by interpreting and completing the Law and by supporting the Administration in taking the right decisions.