Five Greek islands – Amorgos, Kimolos, Kythira, Sikinos and Tinos – located in the South Aegean, have been included on the list of “Europe’s 7 Most Endangered Heritage Sites for 2021”, that was released on Thursday by Europa Nostra and the EIB (European Investment Bank) Institute.
The announcement was made during an online event, co-hosted by high level representatives from Europa Nostra and the EIB Institute, which attracted the interest of over 300 people from across Europe and beyond.
The Most Endangered list includes the following sites and destinations:
- Achensee Steam Cog Railway, Tyrol, Austria
- Historic Cemetery Complex of Mirogoj, Zagreb, Croatia
- Five Southern Aegean Islands, Greece
- The Giusti Garden, Verona, Italy
- Dečani Monastery, Kosovo
- Central Post Office in Skopje, North Macedonia
- San Juan de Socueva Chapel and Hermitage, Cantabria, Spain
The 7 Most Endangered Sites for 2021 were selected by the Board of Europa Nostra from a list of 12 sites shortlisted by a panel of international experts. The selection was made on the basis of the outstanding heritage significance and cultural value of each of the sites as well as on the basis of the serious danger that they are facing.
‘Five Southern Aegean islands are in grave danger’
Amorgos, Kimolos, Kythira, Sikinos and Tinos were nominated by Elliniki Etairia – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, which is Europa Nostra’s country representation in Greece. According to Elliniki Etairia, the five islands are in grave danger due to proposals for the installation of numerous wind turbines in different parts of each island, often next to archaeological sites, some within protected Natura 2000 areas or as a backdrop to traditional villages.
“The turbines proposed vastly exceed the islands’ actual needs and are meant to outsource energy to other Greek locations. The wind turbines will not only visually impact the islands’ landscape, but they will have effects on their morphology and climate,, endangering both their flora and fauna and, consequently, the agricultural, livestock and touristic sectors of their economies,” Elliniki Etairia said.
The organization has submitted a proposal to the Greek Ministry of Environment to exclude nature preservation areas from the wind turbine program.
The selected 7 Most Endangered heritage sites are eligible for an EIB Heritage Grant of up to 10,000 euros per site. The EIB Heritage Grant can be allocated to the eligible selected 7 Most Endangered sites to assist in implementing an agreed activity that will contribute to saving the threatened site.