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Ugly walls painted in colourful graffiti

11 October 2010 / 15:10:02  GRReporter
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To paint the gray city and to give room to young artists to express themselves – this is the idea of the ‘Prosopsi’ façade programme, said a representative of the municipality of Athens. The first three buildings with painted in graffiti style facades were officially completed today but the aim of the project is, if it is supported financially, to continue this initiative and to paint much more gray buildings into colour drawings. The bare walls of three buildings in the area of the Psiri district – 4, Miauli Street, Same 84 at Iroon Square and Taxis on 9, Agatarhu Street were painted by Vangelis Hoursoglou within the Painting fronts project.

"When we work, we consider the building as a whole, we work together with the apartments’ owners and with the people who live in the neighbourhood," says Kyriakos Iosifidis of the Carpe Diem graffiti group, which took the project. "Each artist has an idea and it develops through the dialogue with the others. It has happened even one of the artist to change the initial details and drawings while painting because some of the passers-by gave him another good idea. We’ve been invited from a town hall for the first time and we can boast that we already have 15 applications from owners of buildings who want to paint their facades."

The project is financially supported by OTE, Cosmote and Vivechrom as the implementation of a mural painting needs between 5000 and 15,000 euros, says Mr. Iosifidis. The price varies depending on whether it is necessary to rent a crane to lift the artists. The project involved about 150 artists who needed one month to complete each work.

"We gave the colours to the artists to create these paintings. The used paints are non-toxic and are also insulating – i.e. they keep the apartments cool in summer and warm in winter," said Panagiotis Michalis from the company of Vivechrom.

"Our next step is to paint other blocks of flats. What we do is different from the graffiti because it is made with the consent of the owners, who ‘legalize’ it in this way. Otherwise, anyone can write whatever he wants in graffiti - the football fans, scribbles, someone to write his name on the wall, or there can be many nice graffiti made only for ten minutes," said Dimitris, who is a member of Carpe Diem and one of the artists involved in the project.

The ‘Prosopsi’ façade programme of the Athens town hall began seven years ago and Painting Walls is implemented within its framework and in collaboration with the Carpe Diem graffiti group. The facades of 5000 buildings – long unpainted and ugly blocks and buildings built mostly in the 1960s – are now painted in earth colors after the ‘Prosopsi’ façade programme  the aim of which is to paint the buildings in the capital. If you go for a walk downtown, especially along Vasilisa Sophia Blvd. you can see for yourself the result of the City Hall work on the facades of the once neglected buildings.

Tags: NewsFacadesBuildingsGraffitiAthens
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