Hitch in Acropolis restoration

Restoration work on the Acropolis monuments has hit «another small delay» but this should not hinder the overall course of the project, Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said yesterday after touring the ancient site. The ministry will release further funding, if necessary, to tackle the latest glitches, which have arisen in the Temple of Athena Nike and the Parthenon's vestibule, Voulgarakis said. Since 1999, more than 28 million euros has been spent on restoring the Acropolis, the minister said, noting that 86 percent of these funds came from the European Union. Voulgarakis said cutting-edge technology would be used to analyze the condition of the Acropolis's peripheral walls, which will also be restored. Voulgarakis also expressed his satisfaction with the progress in construction of the New Acropolis Museum, which he said was ready for the return of the Parthenon Marbles (currently in the British Museum) and other fragments in other foreign museums. «Greece now has the infrastructure to accommodate all the missing parts of the Parthenon,» he said. The minister also heralded planned features for the new museum, including a virtual-reality theater which will project three-dimensional movies about the history of the Acropolis monuments. As for the old Acropolis museum, its possible demolition is being debated. «The building is no architectural monument,» the president of the Committee for the Conservation of Acropolis Monuments (YSMA), Haralambos Bouras, said. A few hours after Voulgarakis's visit to the Acropolis, Culture Ministry staff on short-term contracts blocked access to the site for two hours in an unexpected protest over job security.