Video ban for Greek culture campaign.
A video appeal to protect Greece's cultural heritage has been banned by the country's Central Archaeological Council. Thousands of Greek holiday visitors tour ancient monuments and archaeological sites each year and will be aware of the lack of security at many sites. The Association of Greek Archaeologists (SEA) launched a campaign in earlier this year highlighting concern at the protection of Greek monuments and artefacts.
Now, a campaign video 'Monuments Have no Voice, They Must Have Yours', widely circulated on the Internet has proved too embarrassing and been banned.
The video shows a little girl strolling through the National Archaeological Museum in Athens when a hand sweeps in from behind and snatches her away.
The video was inspired by the thefts from the Olympia Museum earlier this year, when dozens of ancient artifacts were stolen and an art theft at the Athens National Gallery, when paintings by Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian were stolen.
It was shot by the Association of Greek Archaeologists to draw attention to funding cuts that are threatening the Greek cultural heritage and the austerity measures imposed on Greece by its European partners.
The effects of the cultural cuts are already being felt by the visitors to Greece and tourists on holiday in the Greek Islands, as museums, galleries and archaeological sites suffer from sporadic closures.
In recent months many experienced archaeologists have been forced into early retirement as part of a 10% cut in staff by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Archaeology staff numbers have shrunk from 1,100 to 900 as the cuts bite.
Archaeologists warn that recent finds are not being investigated and sites of interest are being lost through neglect. They say that in Greece you can't turn a corner without tripping over an antiquity and it is true Greece has 19,000 declared archaeological sites and monuments and 210 antiquities museums.
But now Greece's hidebound archaeological bureaucracy, which for years among the largest in Europe, is confronted by a sharp drop in resources and to relinquish responsibility for country's cultural heritage.