Tattooed City

February 24

Athens is tattooed with graffiti. On my first evening, I meet a life-size minotaur sprayed across cinder blocks. Snarling ogres, Death in a toga, owls, shamrocks, and a Mafioso Achilles are inked into the city’s plaster skin. Black paint runs in the veins of Athens’s pale, neoclassical homes, flowing around bony columns and blind balconies. The tattoos tell the city’s other story, the one not told in marble and museums. Tattoos are the birthmarks we draw on ourselves.

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