Athens Acropolis Gets a Facelift

Source: Carole Raddato/Wikipedia

Greece has recently begun a major facelift on the Acropolis, the primary tourist site in Greece, by installing visitor lifts, lighting on the hill and removing unnecessary parts of the scaffolding obscuring the Parthenon from public view.

On Tuesday, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni told Skai TV that the project aims to “upgrade the archaeological site’s image and the services it offers and, once completed, it can live up to visitors’ expectations.”

The Acropolis, which receives some 1.5 million visitors a year, and all other archaeological sites and museums in Greece, have been closed since March 13, when the government ordered a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Two of the interventions at the ancient citadel are aimed at helping wheelchair users, with the installation of a new lift, access ramps and paths. Mendoni said that following a few small delays, the wheelchair lift should be operational by the end of July.

Improvements to the lighting on the hill are also in the works, both for making it safer for pedestrians and more cost-efficient, but also for showing the Parthenon in a more flattering light.

Mendoni said she also requested for work to be speeded up on removing unnecessary parts of the scaffolding hiding the Parthenon from public view and replacing some of the cumbersome metallic supports with more discreet structures.

The ticket sales system will also be made more efficient and the gift shops stocked with more attractive souvenirs.

Upgrading the site’s electrical network and improving its protection against lightning – after four people were injured last summer during a thunderstorm – are also in the cards.