ATHENS – With all the necessary protection measures in place, the Acropolis and all the archaeological sites throughout Greece are open to the public on Monday, the same day as the world celebrates International Museum Day.
"It is a special day for Greece and of course for the ministry of culture, International Museum Day, which we combined with the reopening of the archaeological sites throughout the country. The period of 63-64 days, during which the archeological sites remained silent and without their visitors due to the coronavirus quarantine, was very long. But that is the way it should be. And now we all need to combine our visit, the 'entertainment' offered by the monuments and archaeological sites, and in a few days the museums also, with the safety measures," Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni said to journalists, Greeks and foreigners, who visited the Acropolis.
As the minister pointed out, "the ministry of culture, thanks to the dedication of its employees, the staff at all levels, as well as the Secretary General, wants to provide all the necessary measures so that Greek and foreign visitors feel completely safe in archaeological sites." Thus, starting at the entrance, special markings have been placed indicating to visitors where they must stand in order for safe distances to be observed, an electronic sign has been put up reminding visitors to "Stay Safe", while there antiseptics and face masks are available, the use of which is strongly recommended. Also, the guards at the site are provided with face masks.
"The distance of 1.5 m has been deemed necessary by the experts of the Ministry of Health and National Public Health Organisation. Our recommendation is to use an electronic ticket whenever possible. In particular, specific routes have been created so that, if possible, the ascent does not coincide with the descent," the minister stressed. This means that a visitor to the Acropolis is urged to take the route that starts south of the Parthenon, to proceed to the north side of the monument and to continue to the Erechtheion.
"These arrangements are necessary for the employees to feel safe and secure, but also for guests to feel comfortable. Of course, all measures can be adjusted if the need arises due to high traffic. The Ephorate of Antiquities and the ministry of culture have received these provisions. The Red Cross volunteers are already in place at the Acropolis Rock and at the large archaeological sites. Also, on the Acropolis there is a military doctor and a nurse, as well as an ambulance in case someone needs help," Mendoni said.