Plea to save Kalymnos windmills.
The Greek government has been urged to do more about the Kalymnos island windmills before they disappear. Holiday visitors to Kalymnos quickly appreciate the beauty of this island and its cultural heritage but many of the old island windmills have already been lost.
Now, the only remaining three windmills at the Chysocherias Castle, one of the trademarks of the island, are in danger of disappearing too.
The trio of stone built windmills on the edge of the medieval castle have never had any government cash for restoration and repair.
The government has been told that a revamp of the windmills could boost the island as a tourist attraction.
Island leaders want immediate steps be taken to protect, restore and enhance the windmills in Kalymnos so as to "highlight the cultural heritage and join the windmills in residential, historical and geographical environment of the island".
They have asked for the windmills to be integrated into a conservation project funded by national or European funds and they want them promoted as tourist attractions on the Internet technology along with other the pre-industrial monuments of architecture and folk-cultural heritage of the Dodecanese islands.
Most Greek Island windmills are located in the Aegean Sea and on the mainland coast with an estimated 2,000 still in reasonable condition.
In recent years, the windmills have been exploited as a tourist attraction, linking the traditional production process with alternative tourism development as well as the role they play in education and the environment.
The government has been told: "Residents of Kalymnos is deeply concerned by the abandonment of three windmills of the castle. Given the consequences of the economic austerity measures on culture there is a serious threat to the preservation of the quality of cultural continuity. The symbols of our cultural heritage should be used in a way that respects their outstanding universal value as monuments "
Restoration would help in tourism promotion of the island and alternative development, both as an attraction for locals and visitors, and because of easy accessibility, they could be used for educational purposes and form an integral part of the rich cultural resources of Kalymnos.