“Culture is not a luxury, it is an integral factor of growth,” said Greek Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou, during the 15th Development Conference held on the island of Syros this week.
The minister underlined the significant role of Cyclades island culture in the establishment of a national identity which at the same time serves as a main tourist attraction and a “window to Greece”.
In collaboration with the tourism ministry, Koniordou said projects were currently underway or in the pipeline with priorities set on the upgrade, renovation or construction of cultural sites in the Cyclades. The emphasis, she said, focused on the elements of time and space, cooperation, diversity and sustainable development.
The minister stressed the importance of safeguarding the islands, which attract thousands of visitors each year but at the same time are at high risk due to uncontrolled tourism.
Koniordou also referred to the agreements between the ministry, the Greek assets fund and local authorities towards the protection and preservation of major sites across the islands as well as to the inclusion of special forms of tourism which will complement museum and site visits.