Greek archaeologists appealed to Europeans to help protect the embattled nation’s cultural patrimony during a time of austerity.
According to Bloomberg, the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s archaeological service budget was reduced by 35 per cent, to 12 million euros ($16 million) in 2011. This year it will be cut further, according to the Association of Greek Archaeologists who have campaigning to defend Greece’s historical sites.
The Association, which issued a statement Wednesday, said that the economic crisis in Greece is putting antiquities under threat by looters and by a lack of upkeep as budgets are slashed.
“Our cultural heritage is not for sale,” Despina Koutsoumba, the head of the Greek Archaeologists’ Association, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “We don’t want markets to rule over our cultural heritage, our history and our democracy.”
Koutsoumba and other archaeologists are also attempting to start a campaign in which people hold up signs in front of Greek statues in museums around the world with Greek antiquities stating their support, said Reuters. Read more.