The restoration is part of the ministry’s strategy to reuse most of its buildings in the center of the Greek capital that hold a historical or architectural importance, as cultural centers or museums.
Palamas’ house was declared a monument in 1999 and became part of the ministry’s properties portfolio last May. The Sylvia Ioannou Foundation is currently conducting a restoration and reuse study so that the project can be included in the 2021-2027 funding period.
The restored building will serve as a place for the study of contemporary Greek literature and the dissemination of the work of Kostis Palamas. Palamas lived in the house at 5 Periandrou Street during the last years of his life.
“Palamas house is an important historical landmark for Athens. On February 28, 1943, the poet’s funeral evolved into the largest resistance demonstration during the German occupation. The building is a powerful reference point to that event,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.
The two-storey dwelling is a typical Athenian house of its time. It has a shared entrance and courtyard. Its load-bearing walls are of stone while its roof is made of wood and mortar. The original phase of the building seems to date from the early 20th century.
The premises’ current condition is poor, as water has been seeping in for years, mainly through the roof. The semi-derelict building has been used as a rubbish dump and public urinal.
Kostis Palamas was one of the most celebrated Greek literary figures of the 19th and 20th century. He was nominated for the Literature Nobel prize 14 times.