Archaeologists oppose Blackrock mall in Athens

Greece's archaeologists are opposing the construction of a 300 million euro shopping mall in the central Athens area of Akadimia Platonos, accusing the Greek government of bending building rules for the project.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Association of Greek Archaeologists (SAE) said that the Greek government has backed the construction of the 55,000 square meter shopping mall by Artume, backed by US asset manager Blackrock, after changing construction rules next to areas of archaeological importance. Akadimia Platonos, or Platos' Academy, is an area where Plato practiced philosophy and Socrates frequented around 384 BC.

SAE continued to say that it has "additional concerns" as it seems that " high governments officials have gone ahead with procedures without consulting local residents, state bodies and the Culture Ministry that opposed the plan."

An inter-ministerial government committee approved the project in May, saying that it will take on board concerns the project will have on the archaeological sites.