An icon of Crete closes for its transformation. The Municipal Market of Chania, in operations since 1913, will be “restored” over the next two years. Vendors and Chania residents have registered concern for the market’s future.
According to news from Neakriti, tells of shop owners asking for guarantees for their positions if they meet the municipal authority’s regulations for entry into the upgraded market space when completed.
Whatever emerges when the work is completed, this renovation by the municipality ends an era, a local tradition, and another of Crete’s authentic experiences where tourists are concerned.
Groundwork is set to begin, and the groundwork is reportedly already being done by officials. Once all the signatures have been set, work is expected to begin within the next several weeks. Some businesses have already secured places of business, while others who were prosperous in the market, have been set adrift by the modernization process. Merchants fear they will be pushed out of the market because of new rules and the overall operational structure of the modernized market.
Officials say the original “look” of the market will be retained, while more modern structural and aesthetic elements are to be added. The centerpiece of Old Town Chania held grocery stores, butchers’ shops, a fish market, a pharmacy, bakeries, green-grocers and souvenir shops for many decades.
Protests since 2018 when the first announcements were made, and the coronavirus, have held up the modernization process. There is concern the Chania Market will be taken over by big business and corporate interests.