NEWS

Corfu

A highly fortified town in antiquity, Corfu still has two of its imposing defense works. The Old and New Fortress is all that remains of the fortress complex which was blown up during the withdrawal of the British. Despite the passage of time and neglect, the monuments retain something of their glory and symbolism. In particular the New Fortress or St Mark’s tower – a masterpiece of restored fortification architecture – dominates the town in a well-preserved state. It was constructed on the hillock of St Mark with soil accumulated from neighboring areas and chiselled stones collected mainly from the ancient city of Corfu (Palaiopolis). Ioannis Spatulas, who is president of the Corfu Town Municipality (ANEDK), explained that the development enterprise took over a decade to complete after years of neglect but managed with limited funds to give a new lease of life to the historical monument. The restoration managed to make the most difficult parts accessible to visitors, especially the labyrinthine underground tunnels which have been preserved and are lit up for visitors. In contrast, what damage was not inflicted by the pirates and invasions of aspiring conquerors on the the Old Fortress was caused by the passage of time. For several years now parts of the fortifications have either fallen to the sea or are dangerously close to falling away. Spatulas says the monument should go to the Corfu Town Municipality as «it has the experience, ability and know-how to reverse its fate.» But as Ionian Islands Prefect Sotiris Vosdou pointed out, after intervention by the Deputy Minister of Culture and General Secretary of the Ministry (YPPO), once the studies have been completed the restoration of the monument will apply for funding from the Third Community Support Framework.