Greek Archaeologists Claim Government Plans Selling Historical Sites



The Firkas fortress at Chania, Crete

The Greek Ministry of Culture dismissed on Thursday allegations by archaeologists that a series of archaeological sites are to be privatized.

In a statement it said that properties of archaeological interest are not for sale.

“Our cultural heritage cannot be traded,” it adds in response to allegations by the Society of Greek Archaeologists that a list of monuments in Chania, Crete has been transferred to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), the country’s privatization agency.

The HRADF sole mission is to maximize the country’s revenues by developing and/or selling the assets transferred to the fund.

The archaeologists claim that among the sites are large portions of the trench of the city’s Venetian fortifications, the trench of the Byzantine wall, buildings that contain important Minoan architectural finds, the Firkas fortress, and parts of the Venetian pier.

They say that the move is unprecedented in the history of managing Greece’s cultural heritage and warn that it will stir up strong reactions both domestically and abroad.

New Democracy vice-president Adonis Georgiades says he has tabled a motion in parliament asking the ministry to release the document allegedly containing archaeological sites destined for transfer to the HRADF.