In Athens’s Vathis Square district, a new update to the National Archaeological Museum has caused rents to virtually double in the past 5 years.
According to data from indomio.gr for 2017 – 2022, property prices in Vathis Square, located just next to the museum, have boosted by 99% in this period. (to 1,401 euros per sq.m). In Exarchia the increase for the same period was 78% (to 1,994 euros per sq.m.).
The recent updates are a major renewal of the 150-year-old display at the National Archaeological Museum. Many Athenians have been calling for updates for years.
Rises in property prices in the immediate areas of Exarchia, Vathis Square, Victoria Square, and Kypseli are said to be a result of this expansion. Museum updates not only create a new reason for tourists to visit, but also create a place for locals to gather, and often include extensions with green spaces.
For example, the new expansion will include an underground extension to connect the museum with a nearby cultural center known as the “Acropole Across.”
The boost in the local real estate market is coined the “Bilbao effect.” In the Spanish city of Bilbao, the founding of the Guggenheim exhibition in 1997 made the primarily industrial city an international attraction for art and luxury almost overnight.
More changes coming
One other area of Athens undergoing change is Akadimia Platonos, in the inner west side of the capital. This area has historically been underdeveloped but will be the new home to Plato’s Academy, an underground museum that will soon house thousands of ancient artifacts.
In all, it will span 13,500 square meters, and will come complete with an amphitheater, as well as connected parks and picnic areas.
Elsewhere in Greece
The Greek Ministry of Culture’s “Council of Museums” has recently approved plans for updates and expansions to museums all over Greece.
Chios, Trikala, Sparta, Thyrreio, and Ermioni are targeted for new exhibits that will display regional excavations or artifacts in long-term storage which have not been seen by the public.
The effects of museums on small island economies are not expected to be as dramatic, given that out of Greece’s 100 Archaeological Museums, some of the more remote museums only get a handful of visitors.
Despite this, recent trends are promising and encourage the building of other services in the area, for both tourists and locals to enjoy.