The New York Times‘ eyewitness reporter Rachel Donadio inaccurately described,
Feb. 12, a wild night when marauding bands of arsonists with Molotov cocktails targeted shops and buildings, most of them historic….
As more than 6,000 policemen stood guard, these roving bands – several dozen criminals, by official estimates – infiltrated a vast, largely peaceful demonstration of more than 80,000 people and pushed the city into mayhem.
Presumably, this claim was based upon initial reports that, of 93 buildings ravaged in Athens, ‘around 50 historic buildings ha[d] been burned or had been completely destroyed [Περί τα 50 ιστορικά κτήρια έχουν καεί ή και ολοσχερώς καταστραφεί]’.
In fact, (eleven or twelve days before Donadio’s report) other journalists quickly established that ‘nine historic buildings suffered serious damage [σοβαρές ζημιές υπέστησαν [και] εννέα ιστορικά κτίρια]’: they constituted less than 10% of the 93 that were wrecked in Athens. They made up less than 5% of the (at least) 190-194 that were ravaged across Greece. They published that information online the day after the riot; or, twelve days before Donadio’s report. So, it was clearly wrong of Donadio to state that ‘most’ of the ruined buildings were historic.
I corrected Rachel Donadio via Twitter on 26th February, Donadio and the New York Times via Twitter on 1st March, and the NYT via e-mail on 2nd March; but they neither replied to me nor corrected the article. I do not support the burning of any historic buildings; but it is a matter of fact. Most of the burned buildings were not historic; fewer than five per centwere.