Greek archaeologists have rejected suggestions that private companies should be allowed to run ancient sites, insisting that this task should be retained by the state.
The Association of Greek Archaeologists issued a statement on Monday following the publication of a Time magazine article in which American archaeologist Stephen Miller, who has spent more than three decades in Greece helping unearth antiquities at Ancient Nemea, suggested allowing private companies take over the development, promotion and security of under-used sites.
“The Ministry of Culture does some things very well: it does conservation work extremely well, they are very good at setting up exhibitions,” Miller told Time. “They are lousy businessmen.”
However, the Greek archaeologists insisted this is not the way forward.
“Archaeological sites and the country’s monuments belong to the whole of society,” the association said. “The protection, promotion and management of these sites is the duty of the state, as stipulated in the Constitution and laws of this country.
“These sites embody our historic memory and conscience, they are not objects for negotiation with whatever investors, they are not up for privatization of available for any private firm or individual to make a profit.”