The Acropolis Hill in Athens, an ancient citadel located on a rock above the city and one of the country’s most visited ancient sites, will get a new, high-tech security system for real-time monitoring of the area, after the country’s top archaeological body approved the replacement of the existing, old network of cameras.
In a meeting last Tuesday, the Central Archaeological Council green lighted the study on the security system on the Acropolis and the monuments of the southern and northern slopes and approved the replacement and strengthening of parts of the fence.
Kathimerini understands that the system will consist of a network of more than 150 cameras that will be monitored through a control room on a 24-hour basis. The cameras can be configured to detect and alert if a visitor tries to take a stone from the scattered debris, an act which is explicitly forbidden.
It will also be able to send alarm signals to the police and includes audible signals to alert visitors and staff in the event of an emergency evacuation of the archaeological site, e.g. in case of fire. The system will be managed by the ministry staff who will be trained for this purpose, while security guards will use a modern intercom system.
Sources from the Culture Ministry describe the plan as a “new philosophy” of protecting and shielding the monument aiming to prevent incidents in real time. It is estimated that the new system will be operational next summer.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site contains the remains of fifth century BC buildings such as the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike.