Culture minister recalls resignation requests over Acropolis lift

Culture minister recalls resignation requests over Acropolis lift

Greek Culture Minister Myrsini Zorba on Monday retracted her request for the resignation of two archaeologists she considered responsible for months of delays in the restoration of a platform lift for disabled persons at the Acropolis Hill.

Last Friday, the ministry announced it had asked the head of the Athens Ephorate, Eleni Banou, and the head of the Department of Archaeological Projects and Studies, Spyros Prousalis, to step down.

The move came after the parents association of a primary school in Nea Redestos, a village south of Thessaloniki, published a letter of complaint to the ministry in which it revealed that teachers had to carry a disabled student in their hands during a visit to the ancient monument, because the lift was not working.

But on Monday, the ministry said Zorba discussed the reasons for which she requested the resignations of Banou and Prousalis, as well as the infrastructure and daily management of the archaeological site on the Acropolis Hill, and the school letter.

“Following the explanations provided and the pledges made, it was mutually decided not to pursue this further,” it said in a press release.

The ministry's demand for resignations last week drew sharp criticism by archaeologists who revealed that the government had been informed about the need to close down the lift for safety reasons since September 2018.

“The lift for disabled persons was not closed due to negligence, but because, since last autumn, it faced serious safety problems by falling rocks and the poor state of the walls where it had been placed,” the Association of Greek Archaeologists said in a press release last Saturday.

It added that work to stabilize the rocks was completed in April 2019 – a month after the school visit.

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