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No staff to open Kalymnos museum

- by Archimedes

No staff to open Kalymnos museum.

One of the top tourist sights of Kalymnos may stay closed this summer through lack of staff. The Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos, which has many examples of pottery, sculptures and tools from the Neolithic, Minoan and Mycenaean periods, has only one member of staff.

Now Kalymnos tourist officials have urged the Greek Minister of Education and Culture to provide some seasonal help so that tourist visitors as well as local people can visit the museum displays.

A letter to the minister warns: "The Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos, with significant exhibits, is however devoid of the necessary personnel to function and thus not open to the public. It does not benefit anyone to have Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos closed."

The museum covers an area of 1,000 square metres on two floors and has significant artefacts and archaeological finds. Experts say that without some seasonal staff the museum will stay closed for the whole summer holiday season when thousands of tourists visit the island.

The letter adds: "Currently, however, there is only one employee who performs the duties of guardian. Clearly, the smooth operation of the museum, is a comparative advantage for the island and there is a need to recruit the necessary seasonal staff essential to support the smooth operation of the museum and to ensure traffic."

Many public departments across Greece have suffered severe budget cuts as the country grapples with its economic problems and hopes of finding the cash to staff the museum this summer look slim.

The archaeological museum is located in the island capital of Pothia, in the Agia Oriada district, and is housed in a two-storied mansion donated by the Vouvalis family.

The interior is a reconstruction of the interior of a typical 19th century mansion house with dining room, living-room, storerooms, service rooms and Vouvalis photographic archives.

In the courtyard are marble inscriptions, pillars and various statues on display while the ground floor has many artefacts, some dating from 5,000 BC.

On the first floor is a substantial amount of pottery, some Renaissance paintings as well as vases, marble and statues. Among the best exhibits are a statue of Isis, and the heads of Pothia Aphrodite and Ygeia.