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Ticket prices for museums and archaeological sites in Greece increase by 200%

08 October 2015 / 18:10:50  GRReporter
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The Greek Ministry of Culture is preparing major increases of entrance fees to museums and archaeological monuments reaching, and in some cases exceeding, 200%. Thus, the Ministry is trying to bring more revenue to the Fund for Archaeological Resources, which in fact is the mechanism that generates revenue for the Ministry. The commission on pricing policy that is in charge of the issue is proposing a revision of prices, which the Central Archaeological Council will discuss next Tuesday and which will include an increase in all tickets sold at reduced prices and corrections in almost all categories in the new price list. Under the EU legislation, Greek and foreign tourists cannot be distinguished, which is why the authorities are also considering the introduction of free admittance days during the winter months, giving priority to vulnerable groups.

According to sources, the proposal is to increase the ticket price for the Acropolis from the current 12 euro to 20 euro, for the National Archaeological Museum from 7 euro to 10 euro, for the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki from 6 euro to 8 euro, for the Byzantine and Christian Museum from 4 euro to 8 euro, for the Museum of Byzantine History also from 4 euro to 8 euro, for the Numismatic Museum from 3 euro to 4 euro. The ticket for the archaeological site and museum in Kerameikos, which today can be visited for 2 euro, is proposed to be increased to 8 euro, for the Museum of Marathon from 3 euro to 6 euro, for the Roman Agora and Olympia from 2 euro to 6 euro, and the single ticket for the monuments of Santorini (including a visit to the archaeological area of Akrotiri, Thera Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera) is proposed to become 9 euro from the 5 euro that are paid from visitors to visit the archaeological sites and the 3 euro for the two museums.

The government aims to collect proceeds from archaeological sites and museums, relying on the receipt of additional revenues (and their control) from the electronic tickets and cards. This, of course, is one way to solve some of the problems of museums. However, the statement of Minister of Culture Aristidis Baltas in parliament that these increases can cover "at least some of the equivalent measures required in the memorandum" (such as the imposition of 23% VAT on education) sparked concern among the Ministry representatives, who are seeing how their resources are constantly shrinking. "The intention of the Minister was to emphasize that culture is a powerful resource that can provide part of its proceeds to problematic social areas," a senior official at the Ministry of Culture explained yesterday. Because it is required to find equivalent measures not only for the 23% VAT in the education sector, but also for the cancelled fee of 5 euro in healthcare.

Currently the revenue that the Fund for Archaeological Resources collects from the sale of tickets for museums and archaeological sites as well as from the sale of souvenirs and brochures is estimated at around 75 million euro. The pricing reforms have been planned since spring, on the model of museums abroad. Meanwhile, in February, when the first list of reforms was sent to creditors, the government committed to collect revenues from museums and archaeological sites amounting to 130 million euro annually. The Ministry of Culture should have already increased the prices of entry tickets. It is however important to invest these revenues in the sphere of culture again, not to fill "holes" in the memorandum.

Tags: MuseumsArchaeological sitesMinistry of CultureTicketsPrice increase
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