ATHENS — Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday welcomed the inauguration of a new elevator for people with disabilities at the Athens Acropolis, noting that this was "a great and glorious day, which proves that the State can work with institutions that share the same goals, vision and philosophy, in order to deliver such an emblematic project to the global community, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities."
As Culture Minister Lina Mendoni stressed, the elevator was the result of the good cooperation between the Onassis Foundation and the culture ministry.
Mitsotakis pointed out that both the new elevator and the new paths make the Acropolis more accessible to those with mobility difficulties and the elderly. "This government does not like words, but actions," Mitsotakis noted, stressing that the project would not have been possible without the help of the Onassis Foundation. He also referred to the government's National Plan for the Rights of People with Disabilities, which foresees universal accessibility for all people everywhere, and has been unveiled for public consultation.
The prime minister stressed that the new paths on the Acropolis have been constructed with full respect for the law, under the supervision of the chairman of the Acropolis Monuments Preservation Committee Manolis Korres and expressed his regret at the opposition's criticism for what he described as a "global" project, which ought to unite everyone.
"The National Plan for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is my personal commitment, you know all the reasons why I have a personal sensitivity," said Mitsotakis, who again thanked all those involved, because – as he said – they delivered such a difficult project on time.
Afterwards, Mitsotakis, Mendoni and Prof. Korres inaugurated the elevator and walked around the new Acropolis pathways.
Mendoni: Acropolis now fully accessible to people with disabilities
Attending the official inauguration of a new elevator for people with disabilities at the Athens Acropolis on Thursday, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni highlighted the contribution of the Onassis Foundation in making the monument fully accessible to those with mobility issues and stressed that the project was fully in line with the laws on antiquities.
"It is a project that was completed very quickly due to the excellent collaboration of all the external contractors of the Onassis Foundation with the culture ministry's agencies, under the expert supervision of Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments and of Professor Manolis Korres," Mendoni said.
Addressing Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was present at the event, she noted that his sensitivity to issues concerning people with disabilities was well known. "The Acropolis elevator, the paths and full accessibility in general are part of the national plan. We are very happy that today, you will be the first to visit the Acropolis in its new form," she said.
On his part, Onassis Foundation President Antonis Papadimitriou noted that the Athens Acropolis was a monument of universal significance for all people and "a bright beacon of optimism". He also highlighted how the project at the Acropolis served to project "the respect and the care of the Onassis Foundation for the preservation of cultural heritage, democratisation of knowledge, free accessibility and equal rights."
"We are not only a private entity that makes donations but we contribute equally to the planning and design of any project we undertake. In this way, we build bridges of cooperation and unleash the hidden forces of Greece at its best," he said, while also mentioning that images of the Acropolis had gone around the world following the installation of its new lighting, which was also the result of cooperation between the Onassis Foundation and the state, and noting that the monument remains "a reminder that man is the measure of all things."
"It also remains a promise that democracy is the home of all of us. Especially in the conditions we are experiencing at this time, this home must remain permanently open, accessible and bright," added Papadimitriou.