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Friday, June 18, 2021

Response of the Ministry of Culture to the publication of the Liberation newspaper about the Acropolis

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Asked by reporters what he said in response to the Liberation newspaper's report on the work on the Acropolis, the Ministry of Culture and Sports released the letter sent to the newspaper's address.
Here's the letter:
To the Liberation newspaper and the website liberation.fr
On May 2, 2021 in your prestigious newspaper was published a report by Mr. Fabien Perrier entitled L'Acropole, beauté bétonnée et défigurée

The Acropolis is one of the top monuments of world heritage. We have a duty to approach it with due respect and, above all, by presenting the truth in order for every citizen, impartially, to draw his own conclusions. When Mr. Perrier effortlessly and more easily supports his personal view that the Acropolis is in danger of being destroyed forever, he must be able to substantiate it.

The reportage deals with the work of the new layers on the Acropolis. He conceals that this is the replacement of the old (1977-2004-2012) concrete pavements of Panathinaion Street with new ones of architectural concrete, as well as the maintenance of the existing routes, which was pending from 2018. From such a valid newspaper addressed to the international public opinion like Liberation, one would expect to read the opinion of the responsible scholars, who are scientists of international renown, with a long and very successful tenure in the restoration work of the Acropolis.

For more than four decades, the Greek state has entrusted these scientists with the restoration of monuments such as the Parthenon, the Temple of Apteros Nike, the Erechtheion and not only has their work not been questioned by anyone, but it has also received international distinctions. So how do we challenge them for a pavement when we have entrusted them with the entire restoration and promotion of the Acropolis monuments?

The author did not take care as he should to check the reliability of his sources by confirming what they said, so in many cases the information he publishes is checked for their accuracy and validity.

Therefore, for the fullest and most objective information of your readers, we believe that these views are entitled to be hosted, as required by the Code of Journalistic Ethics.

The works on the Acropolis

It is important to inform your readers that the scientific responsibility for the conservation and restoration works, which have been carried out for more than four decades on the Acropolis monuments, lies with the Acropolis Monuments Preservation Committee (ESMA). ESMA consists of internationally recognized experts in programs for the management, maintenance and restoration of monuments and ensembles (Archaeologists, Architects, Civil and Chemical Engineers, Conservators) as well as highly experienced scientific staff of the Ministry of Culture with corresponding specialists. ESMA in its work works closely with scientists (of the same specialties) of the Acropolis Monuments Preservation Service (YSMA), the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

ESMA documents in detail and in depth the condition of the monuments (rock, individual monuments, ancient building materials, deterioration phenomena, operation of the archaeological site), plans and supervises the study of the necessary measures, conducts scientific publications (research, results) and submits for review the proposals (in the first stage), and the final studies (in the second stage) to the Central Archaeological Council of the Ministry of Culture, whose opinion is the basis of the relevant Ministerial decision.

Procedure followed in the case of the new routes and the slope lift in order for the top monument to be - for the first time - completely accessible to the whole society. It was a necessary, complex and complex project, which was implemented in the midst of a pandemic with the application of all the provisions of the archaeological law of the country, fully following the Greek and international legal and institutional framework.

On March 16, 2021, the 12 members of the Acropolis Monuments Conservation Committee (ESMA), in a lengthy announcement, gave informed answers regarding the issue of these restorations in the Holy Rock.

ESMA announcement 16.03.2021 (1)

It is surprising that the announcement of the members of the Commission was not taken into account by your author. Especially when Mr. Perrier is aware of the Greek reality and this announcement was published in the major Greek media, print and electronic, which we attach.

He also ignored the long one announcement of the Ministry of Culture and Sports entitled The real data for the disabled routes to the Holy Rock of the Acropolis (1/11/2020) which we also attach.

Your author writes:
1. For the construction, reinforced concrete was placed on the antique rods, recovering cement (For its construction, reinforced concrete was placed on the ancient rocks, and then it was covered with cement).

Inaccurate.

In fact, unarmed concrete was used. Reinforcement was placed in only a few critical places (small pieces of galvanized mesh Φ6). In any case, applying the fundamental principle of reversibility in the works of ESMA, the adhesion of the rock and the coating is prevented by a separating membrane. The Principle of Reversibility has been the highest order from the first day of works on the Acropolis and its observance to this day is very strict.

2. Completed at the end of October 2020, in a Greece that is open to all to be redefined. (It all started at the end of October 2020, in a Greece that was going to impose restrictive measures again)

Inaccurate.

The scientific discussion and approval of the intervention plans took place from April to July 2020, with the same meticulousness as for any other project, months before the imposition of strict protection measures against the pandemic.

3. "Ils used machines, lures, which endomaged the liquids", says Tanoulas. ("They used heavy machinery, which damaged the space", complains Tanoulas).

Very inaccurate.

No rock or ancient remains were destroyed in the paving work.

4. «The Acropolis contains different very tangible contents. I do not know what constituents it is. The pierces are recoverable. One part of the comprehended not only passed, but also recovered. Normally, when a monument is restored, it does not have the effect. C'est un massacre de recouvrir ce monument, ces pierres… "(" The Acropolis contains various tangible evidence of our past. It is not only the buildings that constitute this past. The stones are covered. Therefore, a part of the understanding is also covered. Normally, when we preserve a monument, we do not delete the details. It is a crime to cover this monument, these stones…)

Very inaccurate.

The boundaries of the main road (main passage), the passing monuments and the enclosures were identified by two specialized architects of YSMA and the President of ESMA Manolis Korre with exhaustive precision.

The registration of archaeological evidence, after their study and publication, is dictated by the need to protect and halt their further destruction by continuing their exposure to destructive environmental factors and the number of visitors. It is a test method, which, in addition, is required and enforced by the international regulations of archaeological monument protection. In addition, in the case of Panathinaion Street, a high-precision photogrammetric capture preceded.

5. Unfortunately, an accident took place on April 18th. A man has been projected horsepower from his wheel. (An accident occurred on April 18. A man fell from his wheelchair).

The real facts of the accident are that it happened on the wooden deck in Propylaia and not on the new routes. It is questionable how our fellow citizen was found there in a wheelchair as the circulation of wheeled wheelchairs is not appropriate on the specific wooden floor which has steps. On April 22, the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni invited the National Confederation of Persons with Disabilities ESAmeA for an autopsy on the Holy Rock of the Acropolis. On April 26, their conclusion was made public, which can be read. It remains undisputed that the Acropolis is now fully accessible to the whole of society, the society of three thirds.

6. «We do not want to comment on this society being chosen; I do not want to appeal to you. " ("We wonder how this company was chosen, there was no shortlisted competition).

In September 2019, there was a consultation and agreement between the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Onassis Foundation to undertake the donation of the upgrade works of the services provided in the Acropolis of Athens and the surrounding monuments. The donation included:

a) The construction of a slope elevator to replace the old construction site elevator.

b). The creation of disabled routes (first and second phase) on the Rock, in order to make it accessible to the maximum possible degree. The first phase has already been completed, and the second phase is being launched by the Ministry of Education.

c). The replacement of the old lighting of the monuments of the Acropolis, the Walls of the Rock, Philopappos and the Volcano in the Ancient Agora.

d) The supply of GolfCarts vehicles to facilitate the access of the disabled from Dionysiou Areopagitou to the elevator.

All projects were carried out in close cooperation with the services and external collaborators of the Onassis Foundation with the competent services of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Scientific Committee for the Preservation of Acropolis Monuments, in accordance with the provisions of Law 3028/2002 "On the protection of Antiquities and in of Cultural Heritage ".

7. In the last December, the sub-site of gravity inundations which decoupling the flow of water on this surface is impermissible. (Last December, severe flooding was caused in the area due to lack of water in this waterproof coating).

Inaccurate.

The issue of the regulation and drainage of rainwater from the Acropolis has occupied the services of the Ministry of Culture for the last 10 years. They always happened, regardless of the existence of the current or the old coating on the back of the rock. (In 2018, rainfall caused damage to the walls, especially on the north slope and the northern promenade of the Acropolis remained closed for a long time). The occasional position of the experts to deal with the problem is summed up in the restoration of the soil on the Acropolis to achieve smooth surfaces with a steady slope from the middle to the walls, so that the rainwater does not stagnate, but leads to the gutters of the wall. This is one of the serious reasons why ancient levels need to be restored.

For the first time, a hydraulic project was built on the Acropolis, as part of the work to upgrade the services provided on the Acropolis, according to studies that began in October 2019. A drainage well was built on the east side of the Parthenon, between the monument and the old museum and drainage and drainage ditch on the southeast side.

The XNUMXnd Phase of the hydraulic design, which was unanimously approved by the Central Archaeological Council, and is being carried out, addresses for the first time for the first time and with the least possible interventions, the chronic problem of floods on the Acropolis and the Ancient Agora of Athens.

8. "Le résultat me satisfait pleinement", at-il affirmé lors d'une conférence de presse début avril (I am completely satisfied with the result ", he stated in a press conference in early April).

Very inaccurate.

Manolis Korres spoke about the ancient paths of the Acropolis in a lecture that was transmitted through the Webex platform to the students of the Laboratory of History and Theory of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens and not in a press conference.

9. In the fund, all the soup money that is projected on a megalomaniac in which it has no finality: accelerating the cadence of visitors, the number of entries on the site… (Finally, everyone suspects that this is something megalomaniac project has only one purpose: to accelerate the pace of visits and, therefore, the total number of visitors to the archeological site…)

The passage of visitors through 5 doors, as opposed to the passage through one (the central of the Propylaea), as today, facilitating visitors and reducing their congestion. It also protects the public but much more the monument. In any case, ESMA's proposal is not dictated by a desire to increase the number of visitors, but only by the intention to improve the experience of their visit. As its members characteristically state in their announcement: "We emphasize that even for fifty times fewer visitors it would be worthwhile for them to see what really existed and not the arbitrary and misleading invention of 1957".

10. In effect, the body of the UN, at the expense of the patrimonial, must be prevented from occurring without the work being done. (Indeed, the UN body responsible for world heritage should have been notified before the projects were completed)

As mentioned above, the specific interventions concern the replacement of the old (1977-2004-2012) concrete pavements of the road.

Panathinaion with news, as well as in the maintenance of existing routes. These are small restorations, completely reversible. Greece has established the principle of reversibility internationally in restoration projects. This principle, we repeat, has been the highest order from the first day of works on the Acropolis and its observance to this day is strict. There is no obligation to inform UNESCO about such interventions.

In any case, we would like to inform you that an International Scientific Conference has already been scheduled for the autumn, to which experts from UNESCO have been invited and have already accepted the invitation.

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