Museums, sites hit by Sept. 11

The number of visitors to Greek archaeological sites and museums declined nearly 40 percent at the end of last year, as fewer people traveled abroad following the September terrorist attacks on the USA, a Culture Ministry official said yesterday. But according to Ioannis Savalanos, head of the ministry’s Archaeological Receipts Fund (TAP) that handles ticket and museum shop proceeds, the situation is gradually improving. «Our impression is that visits declined drastically from October to December 2001, when the drop was close to 40 percent,» he told Kathimerini. «But in January the reduction fell to 20 percent, and the figures are gradually returning to normal.» According to recently released National Statistics Service data, there was an overall decline in visitors last year, when 8.1 million people entered Greece’s sites and museums compared to 8.5 million in 2000. Revenue reached 29.5 million euros last year, and 31.6 million in 2000. The Acropolis of Athens was the most popular site, with 1.13 million visitors last year and 1.25 million in 2000. Knossos on Crete came second.

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