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Commercial areas within the public museums are being closed down

02 October 2010 / 11:10:35  GRReporter
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Restaurants and souvenir shops in the Greek government museums will close their doors from the beginning of October. The organization for promotion of Greek culture, which operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism fell under the knife of the reforms in the state system, and from the first day of October it will cease to exist. The notice proved to be out of the blue for some of the employees into the souvenir shop of the new Acropolis Museum, who proved to know nothing about the closing of the state institution responsible for the operation of the commercial sites in the museums in the country. "We have no information and we ourselves do not know what will happen," they told GRReporter.

According to information disseminated in the Greek press by 20th October an auction will be held, during which bids from private companies will be presented to take over the activities of the existing government facilities. The restaurant at the Museum of the Acropolis will be taken over by a local catering company, while the procedure for the election of a successor company continues. Under the new conditions the museums will receive a percentage of the profits of the companies that are doing business there, however, is not yet clear whether it will take part of the profit or of the turnover. Whatever the percentage of profit is, however, there are concerns that prices in these establishments will rise several times after the sites are transferred into the hands of private owners.

The organization for promotion of Greek culture managed by the end of September 2010 also 11 souvenir shops. The Greek edition Katemerini notes that these commercial sites have been particularly profitable, having in mind that just two souvenir shops in the new Acropolis Museum had a total turnover of 4.3 million euro. President of the organization Christos Evstatiou made serious criticism of the government and announced the transfer of business from the state to private companies in the autumn period to be quite unsuitable. He stated that in this period Greece still enjoys a relatively high attendance and the suspension of operation of the commercial sites in museums is not an appropriate idea. Before the Greek edition Christos Evstatiou proposes for this procedure to be postponed until the end of the year, when is considered to be the "dead" season and there will be enough time to undertake the necessary inventory prior lease.

Tags: Markets Economy News Museums
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