Following the reopening of retail commerce and shopping malls, it is “imperative” that cultural venues such as archaeological sites and museums are also allowed to operate again, providing citizens with a “breath of life,” the Association of Greek Archaeologists (SEA) has said in an appeal to the government.
“Culture, in all its manifestations, is a true need; it is expression and a lifeline,” SEA said in an announcement published on Monday, stressing that museums, archaeological sites and art galleries across Greece have been closed for nearly four months.
“Unfortunately, the government inducted cultural spaces into its horizontal lockdown measures… without producing actual evidence or data on the health risk entailed by their continued operation and without examining the possibility of them remaining open under strict safety guidelines,” it added.
“The imposition of this indiscriminate and universal lockdown has deprived society of an opportunity for release and doomed culture workers to penury and desperation,” SEA said.
The association stressed that archaeological sites, which are in the open air, must be allowed to open at once, adding that museums and other indoor cultural venues – including cinemas and theaters – can be issued a list of strict safety rules such as caps on the number of admissions, sanitation protocols, physical distancing recommendations, etc, to safeguard the health of the public and staff.