A doll hangs over a window of an apartment at the "Prosfygika" complex in Athens October 1, 2013. (REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis)
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It has been shelled, threatened with demolition and became such an eyesore that it was covered by a massive sheet during the 2004 Athens Olympics, but a historic 1930s housing complex built for Greeks fleeing Turkey is a hive of activity again.As Greece's six-year economic slump has increased the number of homeless to 20,000 in Athens alone, NGOs estimate, the "Prosfygika" complex has become a haven for squatters and drug addicts as well as immigrants from Iran and elsewhere trying to cross into northern Europe through Greece's porous borders.Flat-roofed and boxy, typical of the German Bauhaus school of design, the complex of eight housing blocs was considered architecturally ahead of its time when it was built in the 1930s to house some of the 1.5 million Greeks who were displaced by a 1923 population exchange with Turkey after World War I.The complex is mostly state owned and its crumbling exterior has attracted critics who say the buildings do not belong on one of Athens' busiest streets, between the capital's police headquarters and the top court.In 2001, the state bought all but 51 apartments in the complex whose owners refused to sell.
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