The Hellenic Data Protection Authority has approved the installation of security cameras at public monuments to protect them from acts of vandalism or the possibility of theft.
Several cases have been recorded lately when unknown suspects removed bronze busts of historically important figures around the country and profited from melting them and selling the expensive metal anew as raw material. The security system to be installed in the future will be strictly monitoring the monument and not the nearby surroundings, as explained by the Authority.
The municipality of Pyrgos Ilias, Peloponnese, informed the Authority that it would install security cameras outside the town hall during the nightime hours in order to protect the open Monument of Heroes standing at the edge of the square. The monitoring screen is located at the mayor’s office and also protects the marble benches of the square, which have been repeatedly vandalized despite the constant police patrols in the area.
According to the Authority, public monuments are cultural and artistic treasures that require special protection, and hence the installation of video recording systems in such areas becomes acceptable and necessary.
At the same time, the Authority emphasized that, “The field of view of the cameras should be limited to protected the monuments without taking picture from adjacent areas.” The recorded data must not in any way violate the rights of any person within the monitored area.
The Authority decided that the installed cameras in the case of Pyrgos Town Hall will only monitor the monuments under protection. The access codes of the system will be only notified to the Security Officer, while accessing the visual data will be only permitted in case of a recorded vandalism case and after the written approval of the mayor.