A new concrete pathway to facilitate wheelchair access to the Acropolis in Athens has fuelled a row between authorities aiming to broaden access to Greece’s most famous ancient monuments and critics who say it ruins the classical harmony of the site.
Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras last month demanded the conservative government “stop abusing our cultural heritage,” saying the changes would amount to “changing the landscape” of a world heritage site.
But Culture Minister Lina Mendoni defended the development, which was approved by the Central Archaeological Council (KAS), the body which oversees the Acropolis complex that includes the Parthenon, a 5th century BC temple to the goddess Athena.
A woman poses for a photo on a new cement walkway next to the Parthenon temple in Athens, Greece, June 8, 2021.REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
“I have seen people in wheelchairs who came up for the first time and felt happy,” Mendoni told reporters during a visit to the site late on Tuesday.