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Greek Culture Ministry to Move Ahead with Operational Reforms

The Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum.

The Greek culture ministry is set to undergo reforms and changes to its operations aiming to benefit from the country’s vast cultural wealth and to invest in a future of accessible culture for all, said Deputy Culture Minister Kostas Stratis in his first meeting with the press last week.

Deputy minister of culture Kostas Stratis.

Deputy culture minister of culture Kostas Stratis.

“Many institutions under the ministry’s supervision are struggling to get by still retaining obsolete structures and outdated modes of operation… with unpleasant consequences on their proper functioning, their financial management and labor relations,” Stratis said while presenting the ministry’s priorities.

Topping the agenda of important issues to be addressed is the operation and scope of the ministry’s fund for archaeological resources and exploitation, known as TAP. The goal, Stratis said, is to maximize the benefits from the management of cultural heritage resources.

He went on to refer to the issue of a finalized pricing policy for admission to museums and sites as well as to more accelerated and simplified licensing procedures and pricing for the use of Greece’s archaeological sites, museums and monuments.

Knossos Photo: © Konstantinos Ntougkas / Greek Travel Pages

Knossos Photo: © Konstantinos Ntougkas / Greek Travel Pages

The minister went on to refer to the thorny issue of the operation and management of snack points and shops within the sites – many of which are not currently open – which he said would operate this year under short-term lease in time for the summer season.

Meanwhile, Stratis added that the
e-ticket would be put into effect at the Acropolis and surrounding archaeological sites, Knossos, the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and at Ancient Messini, which account for more than 50 percent of TAP’s revenues.

Stratis went on to refer to the “European Capital of Culture 2021” events to be hosted for the fourth time by Greece, and this time by Elefsina, which will offer a chance to promote Western Attica destinations.

He also mentioned Athensrole as this year’s World Book Capital and the launch tomorrow (May 3) of Thessaloniki’s 15th International Book Show.

Morover, the minister informed that Athens would be hosting the IFLA World Library and Information Congress on August 24-29, 2019.

“We believe in the public character of health, education and culture. This is the only way to ensure that cultural heritage and contemporary artistic creation are public goods, not just marketable products,” Stratis concluded.

“This, however, does not mean that we should remain trapped in the past, in dysfunctional organizations, outdated by reality.”

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