It is undoubtedly an ambitious plan. The intervention expected to take place in the former royal estate in Tatoi has one main goal: the promotion of the summer palace of Tatoi as a whole, while highlighting its historical identity.
The plan is apparently proceeding without any delay. In the following years, the former royal Tatoi estate will gradually turn into an impressive natural and cultural hub, with various facilities for different activities, including a luxury hotel, cafés, restaurants, sports and cultural facilities, and children’s camps.
In January 20, 2021, the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni presented the main points of the project viability study. The great challenge in this grand project lies not as much in its completion as in its financial viability, regarding operation and maintenance. And this can only be made possible through a mixed management system, i.e., public-private partnerships. It should be noted that the project budget is estimated at €97 to 130 million and part of it will be covered by the Recovery Fund.
The viability study of the project, funded by a donation from the A. C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, places special emphasis on both the protection of the environment and that of cultural sites, given that out of the 55 buildings in the estate, 27 are declared monuments since 2003.
“This is a suburban park and at the same time a historical place which we must respectfully protect,” said the Minister of Culture and Sports. For this reason, any new construction is planned will not exceed 3000 m2 . Plans for the final changes will be completed by August 2022, when all relevant studies should be submitted.
“Tatoi is a national goal”, the Minister of Culture pointed out, adding: “It is also something very important for Attica, as it will be a development project that will provide jobs.”
The Estate will operate all year round with the following thematic directions: History and Culture, Outdoor Sports and Recreation, Agricultural Economy, Research and Knowledge, and Wellness and Calmness.
The opening of a hotel, the operation of a museum, the agricultural production, the creation of special shops, restaurants, bars, the participation in sports activities, with specially designed paths in the forest for cyclists, hikers and horse riding – all these are expected to ensure financial viability of the estate, together with the obviously necessary support of the state.
The contribution of ELLET
It is noteworthy that the procedure to include the financing of the project in the Recovery Fund has already started since the end of 2020. It is extremely interesting that the study includes many elements taken from a relevant 2012 proposal by the Hellenic Society of Environment and the Cultural Heritage (ELLET) with its then general secretary Costas M. Stamatopoulos.
For years, when the state devalued the former royal estate of Tatoi, the association gave its solitary struggle for the survival and promotion of the area. The Hellenic Society of Environment and the Cultural Heritage is involved in the effort for the rescue of Tatoi, since September 1998.
George Vailakis writes about the history of the summer royal palace of Tatoi and the promising plans to restore the previous glory of this unique cultural heritage in the March/April 2021 issue of Greek Business File, available here.