The Lavreotiki Municipality said this week that it would be submitting a file to the culture ministry so as to be included on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list for its vast history and singular geology.
“We’ve started this very important process for our municipality; it is the first time for our country that [UNESCO] candidacy does not concern a monument but a wider area. This has its difficulties, but it also has enormous potential”, said Lavreotiki Mayor Dimitris Loukas during a special event on Monday, attended by government officials, academics, scientists and experts.
The event addressed the region’s UNESCO candidacy procedure, the “Utilization of Mining and Cultural Heritage” project aimed at developing the area into a unique tourist destination, and the “Athens Trilogy: Eleusis-Athens-Laurion” program.
“We are here to coordinate the preparation, to organize and document in the best possible way our candidacy. We have faith in the capabilities of our municipality and we have confidence in our partners and stakeholders,” Loukas added.
The municipality is supported by the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) in its endeavour.
“The time is right, now,” said GNTO President Angela Gerekou, who referred to the rich cultural identity not only of Lavrio but of the wider area underlining the importance of including lesser-known destinations on the tourist map.
“Southeastern Attica with its cultural and natural wealth as well as its unique gastronomic offerings can become a major attraction,” said Gerekou, pledging the GNTO’s support in the candidacy procedure through promotional actions via its website and network of offices abroad.
The Lavreotiki municipality dates back to ancient times and is historically significant – among others – due to its mining activities during the 6th, 5th, and 4th centuries BCE.
Additionally, according to experts, 700 of the nearly 4,000 naturally occurring minerals found on Earth – or 15 percent – can be found in the Lavreotiki district while more than 250 ore washeries have been identified by archaeologists and geologists in the area.