Positive opinion of KSNM on restoration and maintenance studies of the interior decoration of the house where Kostis Palamas spent the last years of his life
The Ministry of Culture is systematically proceeding with the restoration procedures of the Palamas house – a historic listed monument owned by it – at 5 Periandrou Street, in Plaka, following the positive opinion of the Central Council of New Monuments (KSNM) on the study of the restoration of the building and the study of its maintenance interior decoration, as announced by the Ministry of Interior.
The Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni stated: “The historic house of Palamas, wasin the poet’s last homein which he lived with his family, until his death in 1943. The building is a strong point of reference for the history of Athens, but also our modern history in general, as on February 28, 1943 the funeral procession of the poet Kostis Palamas was connected with the largest resistance demonstration in Athens against the German occupation, stimulating the national spirit of the Greeks.
“After decades of abandonment, following the acquisition of its property by the Ministry of Culture, in 2023, the restoration of the building aims to highlight the monument and integrate it into the life of the city as a place to study and study modern Greek literature and dissemination of the work of the great Greek poet. The Palamas house is part of our strategy for the promotion of privately owned buildings, which are of particular architectural and historical interest, with the aim of becoming new centers of culture in the historic center of the capital”.
According to the YPPO, the monument is a two-story, elongated building with neoclassical elements, mainly on the first floor. The incised stonework, as well as the remains of the pilasters on the floor, testify to the imposingness that the building once presented. Its appearance has been altered, mainly in the ground floor section, by later interventions. The building was a two-storey residential complex, without a basement, with a common entrance and a courtyard that refers to the typology of the popular Athenian house. Some later interventions are evident on the stonework as well as on the main face. The history of the building begins in the middle of the 19th century. Radical changes and additions were made to this original building at the beginning of the 20th century, in two distinct stages. In the 1930s new additions, landscaping and subdivision of the floor took place, while operations were also carried out in the 1950s. According to the restoration study, a series of measures are foreseen which aim to ensure the material existence of the building, to introduce new uses and functions in a way that is harmonious with the form of the monument and appropriate, so as to highlight its importance as a prominent landmark for the history of the city and Greece in general, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains, among other things.
The poet Kostis Palamas spent the last years of his life on Periandou Street, in old age, having been forced to move there after being evicted from the residence at 3 Asklipiou Street, which has now been demolished. He lived in one of the two apartments on the second floor with his wife Maria and their daughter Nausicaa, along with other tenants. He breathed his last there. 2023 marked the 80th anniversary of the poet’s death.
The Palamas house is an important historical landmark for Athens. The Ministry of Culture classified the building as a monument in 1999, while the expropriation process began in 2020. After repeated appeals by the former owner to the Council of State, the expropriation was finally completed in May 2023 and the property became the property of the Ministry of Culture. The restoration-reuse study of the building was prepared with the kind sponsorship of the “Sylvias Ioannou” Foundation, so that the project could be included for funding in the programming period 2021-2027
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