The Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni and the Regional Governor of Central Macedonia Apostolos Tzitzikostas carried out an autopsy in the Main Building of the Multicenter Museum of Aigai, west of Vergina, accompanied by the Head of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Imathia
The Polycentric Museum of Aigai is composed of monuments, museum shells and archeological sites. It is an conception that dynamically unites all the old, but also the new archeological pockets of the ancient city, referring to its urban model with the widest residential distribution in the area. The Palace, the Tomb with the burial block of Philip II, the Necropolis of Temenides, which was inaugurated the day before yesterday, and the Central Building, which will be completed soon, compose the Multicenter Museum. The project, apart from its cultural significance, not only for Imathia and Macedonia, but also for the country, contributes to the greatest extent to the development dynamics of the region and its consolidation on the map of international tourist destinations.
The construction project of the Central Building of the Multicenter Museum of Aigai, with a budget of approximately 24.000.000 euros, was auctioned by the Ministry of Culture in December 2012, funded by the Central Macedonia Regional Development Plan - NSRF 2007-2013 and completed in 2017. It then joined the Central Regional Development Plan - NSRF 2014-2021 the project of the implementation of the exhibition of the building, budget approximately 4.500.000 euros with the implementation body of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Imathia.
The new museum is the "entrance" for the archeological site of Aigai. It has a large, single exhibition space for the presentation of thematic exhibitions that will concern the life, culture and history of Aigai and the Macedonian Kingdom. At the same time, in specially designed spaces, there is a provision for the promotion of the digital museum "Alexander the Great from Aigai to the Universe", but also of the tour network in the ancient kingdom of the Macedonians. In the semi-outdoor space of the Museum is housed part of the facades of the second floor of the palace complex, which is being restored within the framework of the NSRF of the two programming periods 2007-2013 and 2014-2021. The exhibition spaces, but also those that support the operation of the building are ready to receive the unique exhibits that presuppose and highlight the history of the Goats in their long history. The project will be completed at the end of 2021, offering the region a unique cultural pole, but also a major development resource.
During her visit to Aigai, Lina Mendoni visited Agios Dimitrios of Palatitsia, which, restored by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Imathia, is now handed over to the citizens and numerous visitors of Vergina. It is an impressive 16th century church, which is connected to the archaeological site of Aigai and is also part of the Polycentric Museum. The wonderful hagiography of the church, which betrays both the door-to-door education of the artist hagiographer, but also the excellent maintenance of the building, are already attracting the interest of experts, but also of visitors.
Afterwards, the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni inaugurated the archeological park of the Necropolis of the Goats and the Royal Burial Cluster of Temenides, in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Finance Apostolos Vesyropoulos, the Regional Governor of Central Macedonia Apostolos Tzitzikosaztazas , as well as the Metropolitan of Veria, Naoussa and Campania Mr. Panteleimonos.
The archaeological park of the Necropolis of Aigai, which occupies an area of 540 acres, includes 530 surviving, visible burial mounds and was created in the framework of the implementation by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Imathia of the project PEP of Central Macedonia "Protection and promotion of the cemetery and burial cluster of Temenides "(2012-2015).
A total of 21 tombs have been brought to light in the Royal burial mound, dating from the beginning of the 6th to the beginning of the 3rd century BC. ai. 7.500 trees have been planted in the park, while supervisory material and shelters have been installed
protection in the tombs and in the older part of the royal burial cluster.
The Minister of Culture and Sports at the inauguration of the archeological park of the Necropolis of Aigai said the following:
"After a difficult period, which we all went through, due to the quarantine and the pandemic, I and my colleagues are very happy to be in Macedonia, near you, as we were really deprived of these visits. Because our constant policy in the Ministry is to travel to the region, to be close to our services, to solve their problems and to monitor the progress of the projects they perform.
In July 2019, we received less than 100 projects, included in the NSRF throughout the country. Today, the Services of the Ministry of Culture perform 357 projects throughout Greece. As you understand, what was produced in the period 2015-2019 more than tripled in the two years July 2019-July 2021. We consider it our obligation to be close to the Services and to closely monitor their work. To give impetus, by solving problems, because we want to be consistent in what we have promised, that the projects will be completed and delivered to the public within their schedules, but also because we want to secure a "passport" for the next financial instruments . Because when we are consistent in what we do, then it is much easier to claim, either directly from the European Union, or through our cooperation with the Regions, more resources for Culture. Because, if the country has to invest somewhere, it is its Culture. Culture and monuments in the long historical duration. Here I would really like to thank Apostolos Tzitzikostas, with whom we have an excellent collaboration, with whom we have at some point planned the projects that "run" in the specific programming period and we have already made a planning for the next period, while having the opportunity to utilize the resources provided by the Recovery Fund and the "Greece 2.0" program.
Yesterday and today, we had the opportunity to tour two areas of Central Macedonia with great interest. With a huge historical past and respectively a large stock of monuments and sites of cultural heritage of all kinds, all types, all periods, which at the same time constitutes a capital with extremely great social, but also economic development dynamics and value for the wider Region. Central Macedonia and finally, for the whole country.
The past decade, and with securing large funding from European and national resources, mainly the two consecutive Programs
Periods of the NSRF 2007-2013 and 2014-2020, but also from the Public Investment Program, both the programs of the Region of Central Macedonia and the sectoral programs - whether it is the EPANEK of the Ministry of Development or the resources of the Ministry of Culture - have been implemented and continue to carry out a large number of works of unveiling, preservation and promotion of ancient and Christian monuments and archeological sites, restoration, restoration and rendering of new use in buildings and complexes of the newer period, renovation of wider urban and non-urban areas, creation of new or modern urban and modern , total upgrade of infrastructure and services provided to visitors, projects promoting the excavation itself, the study and documentation of the findings, as well as their utilization for museological, pedagogical and other purposes by traditional and digital means.
All these projects have already created a new landscape, and contribute decisively to the current possibilities, but mainly to the future prospects of the local community, bringing both immediate and long-term stimulation of economic activity and employment, creating new and strong poles of visitor attraction, strengthening cultural tourism, and creating the conditions for sustainable and sustainable development for the future of these areas. Only through interventions in the field of Culture, our tourism product becomes competitive. All Mediterranean countries have a very important cultural reserve. They are all countries that live from or even tourism. We must therefore make our product as competitive as possible, making full use of and highlighting the cultural good.
In Imathia, this is something that is easy to see. It does not have a large urban center, it is not a transport hub, it does not have beaches, like other areas of our country. But it manages to attract thousands of tourists and visitors every year. Why; Because this place is blessed, having a huge cultural reserve. And cultural stock, not single-level, but diverse. All kinds, all types, all periods.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to tour a number of important Christian monuments, and then to inaugurate the "Wall of Memory", the open-air sculpture exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of Veria, one of the two museums in the city. Today we are here, in the emblematic area of the necropolis, the palace and the city of Aigai, a monument included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1996, which houses one of the most recognizable and popular museums in the country, and I am referring to museum of the Tomb of the Royal Tombs, with a visitor that exceeds that of the metropolitan museums of Thessaloniki. We must not forget that. It is one of the comparative advantages.
In the restoration and promotion of Aigai, the first city and timeless institutional, religious and cultural center of the Macedonians, the cradle, the palace center and burial place of the members of the royal dynasty of Temenides, which ruled for three and a half centuries in Greece and Macedonia. Throughout the universe, through Philip II and Alexander the Great, the greatest and most important interventions in the context of the previous and current programming period were concentrated, which were either completed or are coming to an end. Thus, as an example, to mention the "Reconstruction, promotion of the royal necropolis and the palace of the Goats" in its two phases, the "Consolidation, maintenance, restoration and promotion of the Palace of the Goats", the main museum building of the Polytechnic Museum of Vergina When we say Multicenter Museum we mean that the place where we are, this park, is part of the museum. The Tomb, with the Royal Tombs, the old museum, is part of the Multicenter Museum. The palace, too. Agios Dimitrios in Palatitsia, the same. At the moment, the main building of the Multicenter Museum is being completed, which comes to connect, unify and define the cultural routes in this wider area that we call the Multicenter Museum, in the sense that the archeological site itself is a museum site.
I also mention the "Construction of a service building for visitors at the archeological site of the palace of Aigai", the "Digital Museum: 'Alexander the Great, from Aigai to the Universe", which we all want to see end, because through this digital work, Alexander will reconstruct with his presence in the modern Universe, that is, on the world wide web, the Hellenistic Universe, the one he created.
So why all this? First of all, because we have to pass on to the next generations, within the framework of the principles of sustainability, what we have received, our monuments, our cultural heritage, directly connected to our national identity. And this must be clear and unambiguous. This is our basic obligation. But at the same time, we have to highlight this whole stock, because both modern and future have the right to life. And Culture comes to function as a unique economic and development tool.
In this context, this park is attributed to the public tonight, with 550 acres, with 540 burial mounds. A total of 21 monuments have been unearthed in the Temenida cluster, dating from the 6th to the 4th c. BC, and between them,
the only pillar tombs of the 5th and three Macedonian tombs of the 4th century. A set, which comes to initially complement our knowledge of the place, our knowledge of history, our knowledge of the traditions of that time and their burial customs. At the same time, however, a very large park, which will extend the visit time of visitors, Greeks and foreigners, to the area. The extension of the visit time is what concerns the local community. Because the extension of the time spent in an archeological site means a stay in the area, it is connected with the consumption of resources for food or overnight either because he does not manage to visit everything he wants to see, or because what he sees arouses his interest, so that see you again.
In conclusion, I would like, and on the occasion of today's event, to dwell on the huge and extremely important work carried out by the Ministry of Culture through the Ephorate of Antiquities of Imathia for many years in this area. To thank all those who contribute to the preservation, the promotion, the protection, the restoration of the archeological, the monumental reserve of the area, those who preserve the memory and the work of Manolis Andronikos, who gave themselves for the promotion of this area. I would like to sincerely thank once again the Managing Authority of the Region, which always assists, not necessarily in absolutely easy relations, but in the end in a good agreement and conciliation, in the promotion of these projects.
Finally, I want to thank my friend the Regional Apostolos Tzitzikostas for the trust, the cooperation, the always good choice and most importantly, for what is to come ".