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Spinalonga Islet Among Culture Ministry’s Development Projects

Photo: © Papik / Shutterstock

The islet of Spinalonga, located in the Elounda Gulf northeastern Crete, is a top priority for the Greek Culture Ministry which is moving ahead with restoration and upgrade projects in the Lasithi prefecture.

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni visited Crete recently and the popular tourist site, which is vying for inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list.

The culture minister visited Spinalonga, which served as a leper colony between 1903 and 1957, to inspect the progress of works as part of a meeting with local government officials on projects to be funded through the EU’s RRF tools.

Other issues discussed during the meeting included the integrated management and sustainable development of the site, ensuring accessibility to people with disabilities, restoring the islet’s hospital as well as upgrading the ticket office and site shop, extending the dock and carrying out a lighting study.

Mendoni also visited other Lasithi projects which have been allocated a total of 5.5 million euros in funding, including the Minoan-era Psychro Cave (Diktaio Andro) in Lasithi (6 million euros), the Archaeological Museum (3 million euros) in Agios Nikolaos, the Venetian Kazarma Fortress (250,000 euros) in Sitia, and the Kale Fortress (800,000 euros) in Ierapetra.

She said the ministry was implementing a “holistic approach” which was aimed at highlighting each monument and its surroundings.

The ministry submitted a preliminary file in 2019 for Spinalonga’s inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list.

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