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Culture

Section of Methoni Castle Tower Collapses After Heavy Rain (Photos)

ATHENS — The western side of the tower in the Methoni Castle has collapsed, according to the Ministry of Culture and Sports on Friday.

The collapse of the section in the northern grounds of the castle is "due to recent and powerful rainstorms in the beginning of the week" and the part that fell "was extremely heavy and could not be held up with immediate salvage measures."

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni had met with Peloponnesos Prefect Panagiotis Nikas on December 30 over a plan to support and restore the Castle of Methoni. "Despite investments on the monument during recent years, through co-financed EU programs for this important monument, it presents unique problems because of its location on the sea," she noted, and said sections of it have "serious structural issues".

A special contract between the ministry and the region will fund plans to have the monument come under the next funding period, she said.

More urgent work involves interventions to stabilize the sections and upgrading the lighting on the site.

The semicircle tower, whose wall collapsed, is one of the oldest on the citadel and is dated to the early 13th century AD. It belongs to the first building program of the Venetian occupiers in the Methoni peninsula. Later expansion in the second Venetian occupation (1686-1715), it is now located in the interior of the fortress.

Despite its great erosion, two of the tower's arched windows facing the sea are still visible; one still preserves the arched trim, set in a course of limestone.

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