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Museum cameras combat theft

Museum cameras combat theft.

Security cameras are to be installed at public monuments throughout the Greek Islands in a bid to stem theft and vandalism. The Hellenic Data Protection Authority has approved the installation of security cameras following high profile cases of bronze busts and other historical artefacts being stolen and melted down.

The Authority says public monuments are cultural and artistic treasures that require special protection and video recording systems are now both acceptable and necessary.

The move comes as latest figure show a sharp rise in visitors to Greek museums this year, in contrast to last year's slump.

According to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), archaeological sites and monuments saw an increase of 34.5% in visitors this year along with a revenue rise that touched 30%.

It is in stark contrast to last year when street riots over austerity measures saw visitors to Greece's museums drop 2.8% and revenues fall 18.4%. A slowdown in visitor numbers over the winter had a major impact on many museums and archaeological sites.

Tourist attractions on Rhodes, in particular, were badly hit by the low numbers with visitor numbers slashed by more than a half.

Top sites for visitors so far this year are the Acropolis Museum in Athens (34.7%), followed by National Archaeological Museum (15.4%), Delphi (4%), Ancient Olympia (1.2%), Heraklion Museum in Crete (0.9%), the Palace of the Knights in Rhodes (0.6%) and the Rhodes Museum (0.2%), while 43% of visitors went to other museums around Greece and the Greek Islands.

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