NEWS

Acropolis lift in four months?

Despite the strong misgivings voiced by archaeologists, Greek officials have assured the head of the International Paralympic Committee that a complicated structure allowing disabled people access to the Acropolis will be in place when those Games start, a report said yesterday. «[The Acropolis] is not accessible yet, but I have got assurances,» IPC President Phil Craven told The Associated Press. «I was told it was 99 percent certain.» Earlier this month, senior Culture Ministry officials approved, in principle, the idea – no actual study was presented – of building an external lift to carry disabled people 28 meters up to the base of the walls at the eastern end of the enceinte, under the flagstaff. A doorway will then be opened in the walls, leading to a lift dug through the thickness of the Belvedere Tower. But the same officials agreed it would be hard to complete the 300,000-euro project in time for the September 17-28 Paralympics. Works are almost certain to hit on antiquities, and archaeologists have warned that intense care and ample time will be required.