Greek archaeologists say austerity hurts heritage
ATHENS - The Associated Press
A man walks past the temple of the Parthenon at the Acropolis site in Athens. REUTERS PhotoState-employed archaeologists in crisis-hit Greece say government spending cuts pose a severe threat to the country’s rich cultural heritage.
The Association of Greek Archaeologists warns that as Greeks are pummeled by income losses and record unemployment, looting of ancient sites by amateur treasure hunters is growing. They say cutbacks have also led to severe security guard shortages.
AGA secretary-general Giorgos Riginos said on March 14 that the culture ministry has more than halved its budget in the past two years, forcing museums to close down or cut opening hours.
The association is launching a social media campaign to increase state spending on cultural heritage.
Greece has adopted harsh austerity measures to secure vital international bailouts.