Rail­way works halted un­til Au­gust

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A much-de­layed pro­ject aimed at re­plac­ing the well-worn stretch of track be­tween the Mona­s­ti­raki and Thi­seio sta­tions on the Ki­fis­sia-Pi­raeus elec­tric rail­way (ISAP) is to be post­poned un­til Au­gust when an ap­peal by a cit­i­zens’ group against the works is to be heard, a court ruled yes­ter­day.

The court de­ci­sion to post­pone the pro­ject came just a week af­ter a rul­ing by the same court al­lowed ISAP to press on with its works de­spite an ap­peal by mem­bers of a group dubbed the Cit­i­zens’ Ini­tia­tive for the Res­cue and Pro­mo­tion of the Al­tar of the Twelve Gods.

The site has been cov­ered up with gravel by IS- AP and is to re­main un­touched un­til a fi­nal court ver­dict is is­sued on whether or not the planned pro­ject can con­tinue.

The pro­test­ers claim that the site is of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal value and should not be dis­turbed by en­gi­neer­ing works.

Ar­chae­ol­o­gists have iden­ti­fied the find­ings as part of the Al­tar of the Twelve Gods, a land­mark mon­u­ment ded­i­cated to the 12 deities wor­shipped in an­cient Greece.

The legal wran­gle be­gan last month when the group took out an in­junc­tion against ISAP, de­mand­ing that the site be cleared and pro­tected. Re­gional coun­cilor Costas Diakos is back­ing the cit­i­zens’ group and has ex­pressed the readi­ness of lo­cal authorities to fi­nance the show­cas­ing of the mon­u­ment. Mean­while an­other legal suit has been lodged with the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice in Lux­em­bourg.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the cit­i­zens’ ini­tia­tive have stressed that they have no con­nec­tion to the six pro­test­ers who were ar­rested last month af­ter try­ing to pre­vent rail­way tracks be­ing laid over the site. Most of the protests over the planned works on the site has in­volved self-pro­fessed “Dode­cathe­ists,” wor­ship­pers of the 12 Olympian deities to whom the al­tar is ded­i­cated.

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