Athens – Metro Graffiti

In the 1970s New York subway trains were covered in graffiti, it looked awful, it put people off using the network and some people felt that it was inherently linked to crime. In the 1980s they got on top of the situation, although it took them five years to clean the trains, and with anti-graffiti paint they were able to ensure that the carriages remained clean.

In the UK the rail authorities will pull a train in if there is graffiti on it, so that it can be immediately cleaned up. It’s a dreadful waste of money that could be better used on something more positive, but the users of public transport do perhaps deserve a clean and comfortable train, bus or whatever else they travel in.

The metro in Athens has yet to undergo any such transformation, and although some people think it looks artistic, it’s clear from the comments visitors leave on review sites that many hate it and a few people have said it puts them off using the network. It’s slightly ironic perhaps that the word graffiti has Greek origins, from the word graphein meaning ‘to write’.

The city has tried to crack down on the problem, and some Mayors have said tackling the issue is a priority, but unfortunately money is always the limitation. The public transport company also said they do what they can to clean trains and prevent attacks, but again, they have a limited budget.

Beauty is though in the eye of the beholder, but below are some of the graffiti ridden carriages in Athens.