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In the most difficult year for Greek tourism, the wardens decided one-sidedly to close the Acropolis because of the heat

16 July 2012 / 19:07:55  GRReporter
4137 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Today the wardens of the archaeological site decided to close the Acropolis because of the high temperature . As early as 1.30 pm they stopped selling tickets and closed the entrance. On the side board they had stuck a note in Greek and in English, to inform that the decision of the Greek Union of Wardens of Antique Sites aims to protect visitors and employees from the heat. The spelling of the note was the clearest evidence of the fact of how badly affected the wardens are by the heat.

The temperatures in Greece have been very high for a week now and according to meteorologists, today is the hottest day since the beginning of the summer. Therefore, the wardens of the Acropolis also thought that they couldclose it from 2 pm until the end of the working day. The interesting thing in the case is, that the responsible Ministry of Culture had not taken part in the enactment of this decision. Syndicalists have only informed the department's management.

"There is no problem. Just, according to the National meteorology service this is the hottest summer day. The temperature in the shade, up the hill, exceeds 45 degrees Celsius. The Union decided to close the Acropolis as a preventive measure for the benefit of visitors and personnel. Tomorrow the site will be open, as every other day, from 8 am to 8 pm", said for GRReporter warden Manolis Papadakis.

At the same time dozens of tourists were walking on the way to the "Holy Hill". They arrived sweaty and exhausted to find out the unpleasant fact, that they won't be able to see the Acropolis today. Some of them were carrying their suitcases.

"What they are doing is not good at all. Instead of waiting at the airport for five hours until the flight to the island, where we are going to have our holidays, we decided to come and see the Acropolis. And what do we find out? The Acropolis is closed, despite the announced working hours from 8 am to 8 pm. Of course, acts like this show why the country has arrived at this situation. As I said to the wardens themselves, they should let us make our own decisions whether to climb the Acropolis, or not. I understand it is hot, but nevertheless, we are the ones to decide.", said Evangelia, a tourist from Australia, and a member of a big Greek Diaspora.

Meanwhile tourists were taking pictures an the foot of the Acropolis and even with together the note, written by the staff's trade-union. A lot of them were in Athens just for a few hours. An elderly couple from the USA shared, that according to the plan, they had only had 20 minutes to see the main monuments, before going back to the cruise ship they are travelling on.

22-year-old Marion from Australia had also decided to devote her day to the Acropolis. "I am of Greek origin and this is my first time in Greece. My mother has told me stories, that when she was a child, no fencing had surrounded the site and they had played freely around the monuments", she said, although still with relief that she will be able to visit the archeological site in the following days.

Shortly after 2 pm, when the last visitors, who had managed to enter on time came out, the wardens closed the exit door as well. Vsitors continued crowding around the entrance, looking for an explanation for the paradoxical decision of the staff. Minutes later, disappointed, they were going down the stairs and were setting off  to the Acropolis museum.

As was expected, the topic became the subject of wild debates, but a lot of humour as well in the social networks. GRReporter selected some of the funniest comments.

"The next thing we are expecting, is Santa Claus's village to be closed due to a lot of snow".

"We are losing tourists, because when Ictinus built the Parthenon, he had taken the money without leaving any for air-conditioners".

"You close the Acropolis and say that Athens is Sahara and still want tourists to come? By this logic, do the pyramids in Egypt ever open?"

Tags: Society Acropolis wardens high temperatures tourists Ministry of Culture
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