Athens, seen from above, is a white ocean of roofs meeting the Mediterranean sea somewhere at the horizon. Athens, street view, is a very colourful town: posters, installations, kiosks and a lot of street art, including several large outdoor murals. Some of them were made possible though various creative projects set up by the Athens Municipality (especially before the Olympic Games of 2004), which involved some well-known local street artists, many of whom are from the Athens School of Fine Arts (which runs a programme of street art studies, by the way). If this effort to beautify the city is the sparkle that transformed Athens’ street art from a niche subculture into something the whole town can relate to, the economic crisis is the fuel that made Athens’ street art grow and evolve. Nowadays the scenario is that of a town full of colour-washed energy: street art hunting around Athens can reveal both large, colourful and majestically painted murals and also rebellious, more spontaneous and protest-driven street art, sort of “social comments” on walls; and the most amazing thing is that often the same talented street artist is making both.
Best neighbourhoods to find street art in Athens:
- Metaxourgeio district
- Neos Kosmos
More off-the-beaten path places to see in Athens:
- Nea Ionia district
- Santiago Calatrava’s skeleton
- The monumental cemetery and the Mets area
- Pangrati neighbourhood
- Benaki Museum
- The National Sculpture Gallery (Katechaki neighbourhood)
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