Once the construction works of the tram line in the Piraeus are concluded in Vassileos Georgiou Avenue, earth will cover the ancient ruins of the Long Stoa, the long covered way in the heart of the city.

Tram works in the Piraeus in April 2018 [Credit: Arxeion Politismou]

The Long Stoa was part of the temple of Dionysus, still seen between the Municipality Theatre of Piraeus and the Agias Triadas Church. Archaeology website Arxeion Politismou (Culture Archives), in an article entitled “Last time we see Ancient Piraeus,” stated:

"The construction works for the Tram line did not obtain the permission of Greece’s Archaeological Council (KAS) and there has been no relevant decision by Ministry of Culture."

The section of the archaeological site to be covered by earth and tram tracks was close to the House of Dionysus theatre groups that participated in the 4th century BC festivities to honour the god Dionysus. The website implies a “first-class scandal in the name of development.'”

It is not the first time the ruins in the area are been covered in the name of development. Unearthed in 1884 during construction works for the Municipality Theatre of Piraeus, workers brought to light an altar, columns, rooms, corridors, arcades, water cisterns, and inscriptions dedicated to the sponsors of the ancient festivals. Most of the ancient ruins were reburied and the impressive modern theatre built above them.