ATHENS — The ancient theaters of Sikyon and Messene will be funded with 520,000 euros for works that will allow tourists to visit them them and encourage the local economy.
A contract toward this was signed by Culture Minister Lina Mendoni and the Peloponnese region director Panagiotis Nikas this week.
In a statement, the ministry said that the contract for Ancient Sikyon's theater will continue works of an earlier contract to restore its functionality and prepare the theater for visitors. The 220,000-euro funding allocation will extend the project's timeline. The restoration is expected to be complete by March 2021. The theater of the prefecture of Corinthia will serve as a part of a thematic tour of ancient theaters, Mendoni said, and will also fullfil the wishes of the local community.
In Ancient Messene, "an archaeological site serving as a model of restoration," as Mendoni said, a 300,000-euro grant will restore the castle area between towers 17 and 18, and stabilize the section. It will also create a path for the public visiting the monument. The long-term excavator Petros Themelis, Mendoni said, has fundraised extensively in the private sector for restoration funds to the restoration of the anacient city, which, like Sikyon, has also been funded by the EU.
Nikas said that "Ancient Messene may be the most important archaeological park in Greece," and the region plans to improve access from the modern Messene to the ancient site with funding of 45 million euros.