OPINION

Plan for culture

Cultural policy begins with the preservation, organization, study and highlighting of those remnants of civilization dating from prehistory until the present day. When we talk about highlighting culture, we usually mean attracting tourists. But it is more than that. The remnants of civilization are the pillars of our education. Two major, controversial issues have been pending over the past few years: the archaeology law and the staffing of related services. Eleftherios Venizelos’s archaeology law, which was in force until recently, was rightly seen as outdated and replaced by another, drafted by Evangelos Venizelos, but which led to heated opposition, the reasons for which we will not go into here. The file will have to be opened and studied by those with knowledge and experience (historians, archaeologists, legal experts), who will make recommendations. Then it will be up to the new government. A huge volume of antiquities has been gathering dust for years waiting to be studied and restored. Sites of archaeological and historic interest are being lost, and historic buildings are collapsing. Museums are understaffed while thousands of experts are unemployed or working in other fields. This will cost a great deal, but a beginning must be made somewhere. Pioneering research has usually been due to individual efforts, but it is time for a comprehensive plan.