Tatoulis balks at Acropolis costs

Confirming reports of funding cuts for the Acropolis conservation and restoration work, the Culture Ministry said yesterday that budgeting for the marathon project had to be «rationalized» and rendered «credible.» Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis, who is on a visit to Albania, said he was unhappy with the planning and budgeting by archaeologists and architects leading the massive project – which started in 1975. Noting that 20 million euros have already been poured into the works from EU coffers alone, Tatoulis said the project coordinators had not delivered the full goods. «Unfortunately, the targets that had been set were not met… and, as a result, the work that had been financed was not completed, and the Olympics took place with scaffolding still on the monuments.» Tatoulis said he wanted «a full schedule of future works… to ensure that, for once, there is proper programming.» Some 5.5 million euros in EU funds have been budgeted for future work. But Tatoulis refused to add another 4.5 million in national funding.