Towards the end of 2005, a decision by the Greek Central Archaeological Council resulted in strong feelings and extensive debate amongst archaeologists, architects, artists and the general public in Greece. The decision was to allow use of colour in new buildings on the Cycladic island of Santorini.
The decision went against a long tradition of limiting use of colour in traditional island settlements, to white and blue. Those that argued in favour of more colour, say that the ‘white’ style is relatively modern, having been introduced in the 1930s, influenced by the Avant Garde movement and architects like Le Corbusier. Prior to that, houses in the Cyclades were coloured in ochre yellow, red earth or cobalt blue. Apparently, the combination of white and blue was introduced during the dictatorial rule of Metaxas, in a quest for order and uniformity.