x

Society

Smoke from Wildfire Blackens Prehistoric Greek City Walls

September 1, 2020

ATHENS — Monuments at Greece's archaeological site of Mycenae have not been damaged by a wildfire that swept through the area, despite the blackening from smoke on the iconic entrance to the ancient citadel, Greece's culture minister said Monday.

Four water-dropping planes and two helicopters helped dozens of firefighters contain the blaze Sunday after it reached the fringes of one of Greece's most important archaeological sites, 120 kilometers (75 miles) southwest of Athens.

The Bronze Age fortified city, whose rulers were key figures in ancient Greek legend, including the Trojan War, flourished centuries before the major Acropolis temples were built in Athens and was a major center of Mediterranean civilization.

Smoke from the flames blackened the 3,250-year-old Lion Gate, named after the monumental relief sculpture of two heraldic lions flanking a pillar that crowns the entrance to the ancient citadel.

"The damage caused by yesterday's fire was the least possible," Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said during a visit to the site Monday, adding that none of the site's monuments or the Mycenae museum had suffered any damage. 

Photos released by the ministry Monday showed no traces of burning inside the site. 

"Smoke blackened some walls," Mendoni added. "The problem is (only) aesthetic."

"The Fire Service acted swiftly … and prevention measures worked: Dry vegetation had all been cleared away," Mendoni said. "That's what saved the monuments,."

A spokesman for Greece's main political opposition, the left-wing Syriza party, questioned the speed of the response by the Fire Service, noting that the fire had entered the site. The party said it was carrying out a separate inspection Monday and called on the minister to apologize for downplaying the damage. 

Mycenae has been closed to visitors but the Culture Ministry said it will reopen Tuesday. 

RELATED

ATHENS - A beach bar on Rhodes that has been operating unlawfully for years - on an archaeological site - was ordered shut yet again but given another reprieve and hundreds of others on the island will be allowed to continue operating.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Alberto, Season’s First Named Tropical Storm, Dumps Rain on Texas and Mexico, Which Reports 3 Deaths

TAMPICO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Alberto rumbled toward northeast Mexico early Thursday as the first named storm of the season, carrying heavy rains that left three people dead but also brought hope to a region suffering under a prolonged, severe drought.

Armenia said it would recognize a Palestinian state on Friday, prompting Israel to summon its ambassador for what the Foreign Ministry described as a “severe reprimand.

LONDON (AP) — Taylor Swift fans enjoy parsing the singer-songwriter’s lyrics for references to her romantic life and insights into her state of her mind.

PARIS (AP) — The alleged rape of a 12-year-old Jewish girl in a suspected antisemitic attack has sent shockwaves throughout France and thrust concerns about antisemitism to the forefront of campaigning for the country’s legislative elections.

ATLANTA (AP) — Lionel Messi's passing brilliance got Argentina off to a winning start in the defense of its Copa America title, overcoming Canada and a poor playing surface at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.