One of the main features of Omonia square of the past is the muses that were placed there. It was June 1930 when Eleftherios Venizelos inaugurated the underground railway station in Omonia Square.
Up till then, the square was full of flowers, palm trees and wooden benches. The new square was circular, made according to the European standards and had marble railings at the entrances to the underground railway. The use of the underground railway in Omonia square also created the need for underground ventilation of the station. This is where the need for the placement of the Muses was acknowledged.
In order to cover the “holes” of the vents, in 1934, eight structures were placed around the square, called “the muses of the Omonia square”. At the base of each construction, there was a sitting statue depicting one of the muses of antiquity. And while the Muses were actually nine, only eight were placed in Omonia square. There was one missing, Calliope!
Calliope and how she was connected to the toilet !
The constructions, which were placed in Omonia square, were eight purely for reasons of aesthetics and symmetry. The muse that was left out was Calliope,the muse of epic poetry. Not only did the architect of the project not put her statue in the square along with the rest, but he also placed it in the basements of the electric railway, next to the public urinals!
It was indeed characteristic of the situation that, when people asked where the public urinals are, they got the answer: “Down next to Calliope! “ So the name of the gentle muse of epic poetry was identified with the toilet. That’s why later, when the soldiers had a chore in the toilets, said they had an appointment with “Calliope”.
The muses of Omonia were considered by the Municipal Authority to be unsightly. As a result, the decision was made to remove them. The then mayor of the city, K. Kotzias who had already demolished the Municipal Theater made the decision easily. The occasion that everyone was waiting for, came in August of 1936, when, during demonstrations, a muse fell, injuring passers-by. A little while later the sculptures were removed once and for all.
All that remains to be reminiscent of the muses are the photos but also the historical phrase that remained…