They stole 5 busts to … sell for scrap

Residents of the Athens district of Nea Ionia are upset by the disappearance from the streets and squares of the city of bronze busts of Takis Sinopoulos, Souli Suri, Menos Philintas, Eleftherios Venizelos and Stelios Kazantzidis.

Statements to the police and municipal authorities were made by residents of the area demanding the restoration of symbols.

“Today, our great poet Takis Sinopoulos, who risked his life to penetrate the most dangerous parts of the brain in order to save the wounded, the kind physician Perissos, the dearest sculptor Souli Souri, the writer Menos Filintas, who taught moderation to old and young, the great singer of our folk song Stelios Kazantzidis and, finally, Eleftherios Venizelos were left without a place in our city. And I cannot escape the most painful thought: societies that cannot resolutely maintain their existence on their own are doomed to obscurity or to seek protection from dangers, of course, at the most difficult price of losing their autonomy. The above excerpt is from a message from Xan Maida, President of the Takis Sinopoulos Foundation. The reason for writing it was an unprecedented flurry of thefts of works of art – and monuments at the same time – in the area of ​​Nea Ionia.

Five bronze busts of the above-named personalities are inextricably linked with the city and were stolen within a month. The first disappearance took place on April 18, with the theft of the bust of Takis Sinopoulos – it was taken along with a marble base, according to the municipal authorities, from the house where he lived in Perissos, as well as the busts of Souli Souri and Menos Filintas. Thefts of two other busts followed about a month later. Busts were carried away even from the central streets of the district, for example, the bust of Stelios Kazantzidis stood on October 28 Street, a few meters from his father’s house on Alayas Street, 31.

Everything points to some sort of scheme that aims to steal the bronze busts to sell them on the black market through a foundry. In an interview with Efsin, the mayor of the city, Despina Tomadou, talks about a widespread phenomenon and describes that even church bells have been stolen – thieves are stealing non-ferrous metals not only in their area, but also in neighboring municipalities such as Heraklion and Metamorfosi.

The mayor claims that she immediately contacted the police, as well as in writing to the ministries of internal affairs and civil protection, and has experience in bringing to justice those responsible for vandalism, theft and damage. “The police told us that they don’t have the necessary personnel to patrol, and the municipal police are understaffed, and you understand that they can’t patrol everywhere,” Ms. Tomadou explains.

There is a discussion in the city of the general inaction of the state, while the city government has also found itself at the center of criticism. The opposition faction “Unity for Nea Ionia”, in a question submitted to the municipal council, speaks of the “complete absence of state and municipal mechanism in the repeated thefts trying to damage the culture in Nea Ionia”. While Mr. Maidas wrote that “since the beginning took place on April 18, we almost certainly predicted that this systematic and miserable act would be completed. (…) And we are watching inactivity and helplessness,” he adds, blaming the competent authorities.

“When the police themselves tell you that they are unable to cope with the phenomenon and say that it is not crowded there, what can you do? The municipal police found the couple who went to steal technological equipment from the municipality and took them to the police. I want her to find the others. Two months ago, equipment was stolen from us, even solar water heaters, from the children’s camps of the municipality located in Alepochori. “The situation is out of control,” the mayor said.

The local community demands the restoration of the busts, stealing them is “a very big blow to the city and its culture,” as Chr. Kanlis, leader of the Nea Ionia Unity faction. To this end, he proposes to create a committee of artists living in Northern Ionia, to give directions and suggest how the busts will be restored.

The mayor declares that he will seek the restoration of the busts as soon as possible and for this he has already applied to the Ministry of Culture with a request to allocate the necessary funding. She counters that a particular restoration requires proposals from national authorities, and will apply to the official committee of artists for this, and for the project will follow legal payment procedures.

It is expected that this issue will be discussed at the upcoming municipal council of N. Ionia in the context of the issue presented by the “Unity” faction.

PS I think that the police should not be too lazy and go to the nearest camp. But touching the gypsies, this “sacred cow” … – for this they can be accused of racism. Then they also listen to scandals from gypsies who will come demanding the release of their “unfortunate and innocent husbands … It’s easier to make new monuments, on which you can also earn money … And then they will be stolen again …

Statements to the police and municipal authorities were made by residents of the area demanding the restoration of symbols.



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