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The Onassis Foundation has signed the Collaboration Agreement with the Ministries of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks and the Attiko Metro S.A. for the realization of the Program “Rethink Athens – Towards a New City Centre“, while imminent is the signing of the collaboration agreement with the Prefecture of Attica and the Municipality of Athens. This project of national importance, exclusively funded by the Onassis Foundation to be donated to the Greek State, will be realized thanks to the decisive contribution and support of the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Mr. George Papakonstantinou and the Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, Mr. Mavroudis Voridis.

At the same time, Ministers of Environment, Energy and Climate Change G. Papakonstantinou and of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks M. Voridis as well as Deputy Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Mr. N. Sifounakis, have signed a Joint Ministerial Decision approving the realization of the design and studies of the Program and the realization of the European Architectural Competition, according to the terms and special provisions stated by the Onassis Foundation. The Joint Ministerial Decision also determines the official bodies and the procedure of overseeing, approving and taking delivery of the total of the studies that the Onassis Foundation will donate to the Greek State, as well as the involved parties’ commitments towards the realization of the Program.
The Collaboration Agreement and the Joint Ministerial Decision thus provide the “green light” for the beginning of the necessary actions involved in this significant grant on behalf of the Onassis Foundation, which was announced to the public on May 21st 2012 at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, in the presence of dignitaries from Greece’s Political Parties that have unanimously welcomed this initiative. The initial turnover of this donation involves the funding and organization of the European Architectural Competition for the creation of a new city center along the axis of Panepistimiou street.  

The Competition will start on Monday, May 21st 2012. All the necessary information will be available through the Competition’s website at, which has been created especially for this purpose and will become active on the aforesaid date.

The Competition is open to participants coming from countries that are members of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), as well as countries that have signed agreements within the framework of activities of the World Trade Organization.

The Competition will be realized in two stages. During the first stage, only ideas will be submitted and a small number of entries will be selected, to compete against each other during the second stage, where the winner will be selected to enter a project design Contract with the Organizer.

The “Rethink Athens” Project involves a pluralistic intervention at the center of Athens, extending from Amalias Avenue up to the end of Patission Street, having Panepistimiou Avenue as a main axis and culminating to a new Omonia square. Its main objective is to reverse the increasing downgrading of the center of Athens and breathe new life into it, through a multifaceted organizational scheme that will include entrepreneurial activity, services, permanent residence, recreation and culture, actions that will be encouraged to interact with each other. The extension of the intervention towards Amalias avenue, Omonia Square and Patission street, will form a “ring” that will connect the pedestrian street of Dionysiou Areopagitou and the new Acropolis Museum with the National Archaeological Museum, as well as the Omonia Square with the areas of Monastiraki and Thission, bringing together the liveliness of the contemporary city with the archaeological sites and tourism.

The Project’s website at offers an opportunity to the public, the residents and professionals of the City of Athens to discuss and express their opinions on this matter online through the social media (Facebook and twitter).