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Supreme Judicial Council has ordered the destruction of Badminton Theatre in Athens

31 May 2012 / 19:05:16  GRReporter
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Ruined and deserted are the two words describing the fate of the majority of the Olympic buildings designated to accommodate the guests and participants in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. After the Greek government had spent hundreds of millions for temporary structures, they did not find a new application after the Olympic Games held in Athens eight years ago. One of the few buildings that started a new life after 2004 was Badminton Theatre.

Nearly ten years after its construction, the Supreme Judicial Council in Greece has decided that the building, which houses the theatre, must be destroyed. The building was initially erected to host badminton tournaments during the Olympic Games. Its construction cost the Greek taxpayers 35 million euro.

In 2005, the Supreme Judicial Council decided and changed the use of the building from temporary to permanent in order to give a licence for its use and to trigger the utilization of the Olympic buildings. Michalis Adam, who is a well-known producer of theatrical and musical productions, won the tender for the right to use the building for 20 years. He decided to turn the gym with a large park area around into a cultural centre. The newly established theatre became the scene of ballet, musical, theatre performances and other types of cultural events by both local and world famous foreign artists and performers. Adam’s company invested 15 million euro in technical and interior renovations and created 120 permanent jobs. For five years, Badminton Theatre hosted over 800 performances with 2,500 performers and over one million viewers enjoyed them.

The Supreme Judicial Council took its decision under pressure from a number of environmental, civic and volunteer organizations insisting on observing the law in the part relating to the Olympic buildings. According to it, all buildings, which had been declared temporary structures and served the needs of the Olympic Games, had to be destroyed six months after the games. The same Supreme Judicial Council, which has ruled today that the building must be destroyed, declared it a permanent structure seven years ago, Michalis Adam told Radio Zougla. He explained that before the Olympic Games, the buildings were declared temporary structures in order to avoid the construction bureaucracy and not because the buildings did not meet the requirements for a regular building. "As you can see, if the Greek state had announced that it would construct buildings for permanent use, it would take 10 years and the Olympic Games would have no premises yet."

However, one of the theatres,which welcomed artists from Broadway and the Balshoy theatre were on tour, will now be destroyed because the Greek authorities decided to outmanoeuvre themselves 10 years ago. There are also accusations of distorting the ecosystem of the region, to which Adam replied, "A study of the environment was held before the start of the project for the theatre as required by law. We suggested that part of the proceeds could go into a special fund for the maintenance of the park close to us, because it is an abandoned place full of junk. We consider it an absurd assumption that the theatre could be an environmental problem." The businessman said in conclusion that the state must assume its responsibility and meet its obligations under the concession contract.

Tags: NewsSocietyTheatreSupreme Judicial CouncilDestructionBadmintonAthens
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