In any other corner of the world, the news of such wealth would mobilize stakeholders and citizens. Unfortunately, the incredible historic value of this monument is in danger because it is located on property where apartments are due to be built. The monument is likely to provide the foundation of this apartment structure, despite the mobilization of citizens of the neighborhood surrounding the square.
A strange secret, a unique monument lies at the heart of Thessaloniki at the Square Antigonidon. Behind the construction metal fences on the northeast side of the square is a unique treasure, which was well hidden for centuries. The uniquely beautiful temple of the goddess Aphrodite was erected in the square of the Sacreds in the area which is now the square of Antigonidon. The discovery from the 6th century BC was carried to Thessaloniki by King Aineias (Founder of the city of Aineia). Today this location is the suburbs of the city of Michaniona.
The monuments is a national heritage and belongs to all future generations of Greeks. It is also a unique attraction for the city of Thessaloniki, in which there are no other Greek monuments. At a time when our country relies on heavy industry and tourism, the corrupt politicians do not care to save one of the greatest treasures of antiquity, which will attract tourists to the second largest city in the country.
When and how the temple was discovered? The Late Archaic temple was dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite. We know this by the excavation fragments found all over the city and from the excavation fragments found on this property during the construction of the apartment foundation. This Ionic architectural style is found all over the city of Thessaloniki. Most of the ruins were excavated in 1936 during the construction of the apartments foundation which is located at the intersection of Crystal street and Government street The area now known to us as government House was known in Roman times as the site of the sacred, where there was a concentration of temples and shrines. In 2000, on the occasion of the demolition of a two story building on land locate on Andigonidon square, the archaeologist A. Tassios excavated this rich hidden history of our city. Tassios excavated the temple of Aphrodite, statues of Grecian-Roman times, and many architectural fragments. The columns of the temple which reach 7 meters in height, along with many other treasures are now exhibited in the hall of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki thanks to the efforts of the archeologists and the officers of the 16th department of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. The value of the monument: George Karadedos, associate professor at Aristotle University, told journalist Stelina Margaritidou, “This is a unique finding most of which is exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.” The height of the columns reaches seven meters and realistically cannot be exhibited in any exhibit halls of the museum in order to highlight the exact size. We know that the rest of the temple continues west under the pavement of the streets of Governors Square and Antigonidon Square. The architectural and artistic value of the temple is immense. The temple can be saved and honored as part of Greece’s rich history if its importance is realized and respected by the government. Cultural pride and history must be preserved and valued. Only one third of the possible artifacts have been excavated from this site. The Greek Government’s agenda to entomb and conceal the Temple:The initial decision of the Central Archaeological Council, shortly after the excavation of the monument, was to expropriate the land and proceed with the excavation of the Temple. Later, the decision was revised and the Council decided to keep the basement of the apartment building under construction. Two years ago the fate of the temple was discussed again at the CAC (Central Archeological Council) and was given positive votes for the expropriation of land, since this time the issue has been “frozen.” The issue of expropriation, after opposition from the owners of the land, was to be discussed on April 13, 2011 at a meeting of the Committee of the Ministry of Culture Receipts, but was postponed in the absence of a quorum until after Winter holidays. If the expropriation is rejected and the opposition accepted, the temple will remain buried and a national treasure will be left unseen.
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