Plato’s holy olive tree, beneath the shade of which the ancient Greek philosopher allegedly taught his students has been uprooted, most likely for firewood. Residents claim no action was taken to preserve and protect it.

The ancient tree with massive roots was near the Agricultural University of Athens and was one of the twelve olive trees representing the 12 gates of the Academy, from which the famous olive garden of Athens got its name from. According to myth, the goddess Athena gave Athenians the olive tree to become the city’s protector.

The old tree was struck by a bus in 1978, so its bark was taken to the Agricultural University, where it is on display. The giant root was left behind remained, with new shoots appearing. According to a professional carpenter, the root was about 20% of the tree and it must have weighed between 500 and 700 kilos.