Record of unprecedented damage and destruction in protests, riots in Greece, 12th February 2012 Part II

Economy, riots and heritage III

Published on 23 February 2012

Author(s): samarkeolog

Type:  Blog Originally published 13 Feb

An amazing detailed account from someone who cares (CiD) 

Continued from Part 1

Cultural venues

  • Rioters burned a neo-Classical cinema, the Attikon (see photo below), in 19-21 Stadiou Street; even Marie Claire (@MarieClaire_gr) noticed the destruction of the historic building. (The following night, there was a candle-lit vigil outside the Attikon, a rally against violence. Every week, there will be silent protest against the dismantling of our lives a ‘[βουβ?ς διαμαρτυρ?ας για το ξ?λωμα της ζω?ς μας]‘.)
  • And the Apollo cinema ‘caught fire [π?ρε φωτι?]‘. Its foyer suffered ‘complete destruction [πλ?ρης καταστροφ?]‘, but the damage was ‘repairable [επιδιορθ?σιμες]‘.Update (17th February 2012): the Attikon and the Apollon were in the same historic building. The head of the Directorate of Conservation of Ancient and Modern Monuments (η Διε?θυνση Συντ?ρησης Αρχα?ων και Νε?τερων Μνημε?ων), Nikos Minos, said that it had suffered ‘very serious damage [πολ? μεγ?λη ζημι?]‘.
  • Update (15th February 2012): Apparently, the Asty was ‘ablaze‘; but thankfully, Grrrl in Athens (@RegularGrrrl) saw the Asty and tweeted that it was not burned down. (There had been reports that it had been ‘ravaged‘.) Still, SigmaLive (@Sigmalivecom) showed that it was burned(photo link). As to Vima reported, the Asty ‘has not sustained serious damage [δεν ?χει υποστε? σοβαρ?ς ζημι?ς]‘; the Greek Reporter’s Anastasia Balezdrova said that there was ‘damageto the entrance only’.The cinema’s director, Georgios Tsakalakis, said that the foyer had been destroyed; and that ‘the roof ha[d] sustained serious damage [?χει υποστε? σοβαρ?ς ζημι?ς και η οροφ?]‘.To Vima specifically noted that ‘neither [has] the basement jail of the Gestapo that is found next to it, because the heavy entrance door protected them from the arson [ο?τε και το υπ?γειο κρατητ?ριο της Γκεστ?πο που βρ?σκεται δ?πλα του, επειδ? τα προφ?λαξε απ? τους εμπρησμο?ςη βαρι? π?ρτα εισ?δου]‘.The arsonists also ‘tried to rob the till [επιχε?ρησαν να ληστ?ψουν το ταμε?ο]‘, but the staff struggled with them and prevented them. The ‘masked ones approached Giorgios Stergiakis and demanded money from him, in order for them not to destroy the cinema [τον [Γι?ργο Στεργι?κη] πλησ?ασαν κουκουλοφ?ροι και του ζ?τησαν χρ?ματα, για να μην καταστρ?ψουν το σινεμ?]’.Adding another layer of history, and significance, to Vima noted that, after the Nazi occupation, the building had served as the ‘cover for/housing of the central offices of EAM [ως στ?γητων κεντρικ?ν γραφε?ων του ΕΑΜ]‘. The National Liberation Front (Εθνικ? Απελευθερωτικ? Μ?τωπο) had been the heart of Greek resistance to the Nazi occupation, and became the heart of the anti-imperialist force in the Greek Civil War.

    Update (16th January 2012): one or more imbeciles broke the windows of a building housing a memorial to Greece’s anti-Nazi resistance to the Nazis, and wrote ‘uprising’ on the wall in revolutionary red. Apparently, it was metres away from the Attikon, so I assume it was the building housing the Asty. (It was not the Museum of National Resistance (Μουσε?ο Εθνικ?ς Αντ?στασης), which is 4.3km away from the Attikon.)

  • Update (15th February 2012): the Australian Eye, the (U.S.) Standard-Examiner and the (U.S.) Times Leader published AP/DPA confirmation that ‘[d]emonstrators torched… a museum’. Apparently, it was the Numismatic Museum (Νομισματικ? Μουσε?ο), the museum of coins and currency, which is housed in archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann’s 1880 residence, Iliou Melathron on the junction of Panepistimiou and Amerikis. (Hat tip, Vatolakkiotis for the initial information.) There, ‘damages were caused [Φθορ?ς προκλ?θηκαν]‘ to the entrance (ε?σοδο).(2)
  • Update (17th February 2012): a historic building, the Nikoloudi Building (το Μ?γαρο Νικολο?δη; at 41 Panepistimiou) suffered ‘serious damage [<a title="Πληγωμ?νη π?λη η Αθ?&n

False rumours of cultural destruction

  • Word quickly spread that ‘Athens National Library [Was] On Fire‘; but Anastasia Balezdrova confirmed that those rumours ‘proved false’. Rather, ‘fires [had] envelop[ed] the vendors outside the National Library [φλ?γες τυλ?γονται και τα εκδοτ?ρια ?ξω απ? την Εθνικ? Βιβλιοθ?κη]‘.
  • Similarly, palio fatsa (@paliofatsa) reassured the public that ‘the porn cinema on 3rd September Street was not burned [δεν κ?ηκε πορνο-σινεμ? της οδο? 3ης Σεπτεμβριου]‘.

Public services

Someone broke the windows of the post office on Ethnikis Amynis Street (see photo below).

Media organisations

The Lambrakis Journalist Organisation (Δημοσιογραφικ?ς Οργανισμ?ς Λαμπρ?κη (ΔΟΛ)) was ‘looted [λεηλατημ?νο]‘ (photo link, hat tip Modestos Siotos (@modestospk)). This is particularly noteworthy because DOL had immediately produced a good record of many of last night’s episodes of looting, destruction and violence. (I found DOL’s article on very helpful in producing this post.)

Personal private property

I do not count them in my study, but cars were vandalised and burned.

Other objects

Likewise, I have not counted it in my study, but protesters burned a German flag (see video below).

Corfu (Kerkyra)

Parliamentary/party/bureaucratic property

Heraklion (Irakleio)

Parliamentary/party/bureaucratic property

  • In Herakleion, the capital of the southern Greek island of Crete, youths smashed the windows of the court on Justice Avenue.
  • They damaged, ‘ransacked‘ the office of PASOK MP Vasilis Kegkeroglou.
  • And they did the same to the office of Manolis Stratakis.

It is unclear whether the MPs’ offices and two other public offices were ransacked, or whether the MPs’ offices were the public offices…

Police property

(They Molotov cocktailed police jeeps.)


Parliamentary/party/bureaucratic property

In the larger, western city of Patras, masked youths Molotov cocktailed an unidentified political office.

Other commercial properties

They also smashed a shop’s windows.

Personal private property

(And they (photo link) Molotov cocktailed a car; but again, I do not count that in my analysis.)


Sky News’ Robert Nisbet (@RobNisbetSky) reported ‘extensive‘ violence and damage in Thessaloniki.

Youths tore the protective boards off banks and shops on Mitropoleos Street, and smashed their security cameras. Still, others disapproved.


A surprised/suspicious Anthony Verias (@VeriasA) reported that, at one point, a protester with ‘no hood nothing [to cover his face]‘ ‘magically’ found a pick axe (casually left at a building site) with which to ‘smash [a] bank‘.

  • Proton Bank was attacked.
  • ProBank (on Mitropoleos) burned (see photo below).
  • Masked people smashed the front window of First Business Bank (and tried but failed to set fire to it).
  • Anthony Verias (@VeriasA) showed ‘damage‘ to an unnamed bank in Thessaloniki (see photo below).

Other commercial properties



Update (17th February 2012): There had been reports that fifteen hooded and scarved youths used ‘clubs and sledgehammers [ρ?παλα και βαριοπο?λα]‘ to smash the windows of three (unnamed) banks. In fact,


Parliamentary/party/bureaucratic property

  • Volos’s town hall was first occupied then set on fire, ‘burned [κα?γεται]‘.
  • Its tax office (Internal Revenue Office (Δημ?σια Οικονομικ? Υπηρεσ?α (ΔΟΥ))) was looted, and its files ‘destroyed’, ‘burned [?καψαν φακ?λους]‘.
  • Update (17th February 2012): apparently, there was unspecified ‘damage [ζημι?ς]‘ to the office of the Job Centre/Employment Service (the Organisation for the Employment of the Workforce (Οργανισμ?ς Απασχολ?σεως Εργατικο? Δυναμικο? (ΟΑΕΔ))).
  • Update (17th February 2012): there was also unspecified ‘damage [ζημι?ς]‘ to the offices of the Prefectural Committee of Magnesia.


  • In the central city of Volos, the Eurobank (on Iasonas Street) burned; and the fire so weakened it that it ‘collapsed [[κ]ατ?ρρευσε]’.
  • Update (17th February 2012): there was unspecified ‘damage [ζημι?ς]‘ to the Hellenic Post Bank.

Destructive tactics

There were tactical fires to disperse tear gas; and there are burning/burned-out bin barricades. They did cause damage/destruction to some physical property; but their aim was citizens’ protection from chemical or physical attack. (Hat tip, Fani Angelou (@angeloufani) and Spyros Gkelis (@northaura) for their links to the tweets below.)

Also, rioters smashed public squares’ and ‘‘luxury hotels, banks and department storesmarble architecture in order to use the rubble to stone the police; they smashed ‘around 40 tons [περ?που 40 τ?νους]‘ of marble and other stone in Athens alone. That is destruction to enable violent action; and the damage to the Church of St. Dionysios and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was inexcusable; but they did not damage their communities’ public places/sacred sites for the sake of it.

And finally…

For some, it was a spectator sport: (Tweet)

And while all this was going on, this was the scene in the cafe in parliament: (Tweet)


I got a lot of information from friends, colleagues and other people I follow on Twitter.

I searched Twitter’s complete timelines for,

  • 12fgr κα?γεται/κα?γονται
  • 12fgr ?καψε/?καψαν
  • 12fgr βλ?βη/ζημι?
  • 12fgr ?βλαψε/?βλαψαν/ζημ?ωσε/ζημ?ωσαν
  • 12fgr καταστροφ?/κατεστραμμ?νος/κατεστραμμ?νοι/κατεστραμμ?νη/κατεστραμμ?νες/κατεστραμμ?νο/κατεστραμμ?να
  • 12fgr κατ?στρεψε/κατ?στρεψαν/καταστρ?φηκε/καταστρ?φηκαν
  • 12fgr φωτι?
  • 12fgr φωτι?ς
  • [anything on] Αγρ?νιο
  • Athens, burned
  • Athens, burning [which was annoying, because there were hundreds of wholly uninformative tweets that 'Athens is burning' or 'Athens, Greece is burning'; Twitter even broke under the weight of them, so I couldn't see anything earlier than 10pm UK time, 12th February 2012, 12am Greek time, 13th February 2012]
  • Athens, damage
  • Athens, damaged
  • Athens, destroyed
  • Athens, destruction
  • Athens, fire [at which point, I daydreamed of an "-idiot" filter; I could not retrieve anything earlier than 3am UK time, 5am Greek time, 13th February 2012]
  • Athens, fires
  • Greece, burned
  • not Greece, burning [see: Athens, burning]
  • Greece, damage
  • Greece, damaged
  • Greece, destroyed
  • Greece, destruction
  • not Greece, fire [see: Athens, fire]
  • Greece, fires
  • Corfu/Kerkyra, burned
  • Corfu/Kerkyra, burning
  • Corfu/Kerkyra, damage
  • Corfu/Kerkyra, damaged
  • Corfu/Kerkyra, destroyed
  • Corfu/Kerkyra, destruction
  • Corfu/Kerkyra, fire
  • Corfu/Kerkyra, fires
  • [anything on] Herakleion/Irakleio/Ηρ?κλειο
  • [anything on] Patra/Π?τρα/Patras/Π?τρας [I did not find much about the 12th; however, I did learn that, on the morning of the 11th, in Patra(s), about 30 masked people looted Carrefour and distributed their goods in the local market (λα?κ? αγορ?)]
  • Thessaloniki, burned
  • Thessaloniki, burning
  • Thessaloniki, damage
  • Thessaloniki, damaged
  • Thessaloniki, destroyed
  • Thessaloniki, destruction
  • Thessaloniki, fire
  • Thessaloniki, fires
  • [anything on] Trikala/Τρ?καλα
  • Volos, burned
  • Volos, burning
  • Volos, damage
  • Volos, damaged
  • Volos, destroyed
  • Volos, destruction
  • Volos, fire
  • Volos, fires

And I searched Google News for:

  • ?στυ, Αττικ?ν, Απ?λλων
  • Agrinio/Αγρ?νιο
  • Athens/Αθ?να
  • Corfu/Κ?ρκυρα
  • Herakleion/Irakleio/Ιρ?κλειο
  • Νομισματικ? Μουσε?ο
  • Greece, destroyed
  • Greece, fire
  • Patras/Π?τρας
  • Thessaloniki/Θεσσαλον?κη
  • Trikala/Τρ?καλα
  • Volos/Β?λος


1: Alternatively, 150 shops were looted, and 34 of those 150 were burned. Or, 150 buildings were looted and 48 (others) burned. Or, 110 buildings were damaged or destroyed, 50 of those 110 were burned, and 30 of those 110 were looted…

According to Athens Municipality and police, 45 buildings were burned; and 93 buildings were either seriously damaged or destroyed. According to the Technical and Industrial Chamber of Athens, 45 banks, shops, etc. were completely destroyed; and 125 others (70 clothes shops, 29 unidentified shops, 17 bank branches, 5 shopping centres and 4 bookshops) were severely damaged.

2: Andy Dabilis (@AndyDabilis) claimed that the ‘WWII museum‘ ‘adjacent’ to the Attikon cinema was ‘now gone too’. However, the Attikon is on Stadiou Street, while the War Museum is 1.5km away on Rizari Street; the Museum of the City of Athens is 200m away on Paparigopoulou; and the Greek Navy Museum is 1.2km away on Voulgari.

To return to Part 1, click here.

Photos, videos and Tweets were not reproduced from the original Blog. Please go to the original source to see, watch and read them.

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