Greek cultural workers occupy Acropolis

This 8 November 2011 video from Greece is called Anti-EU protest at the Acropolis.

From The Art Newspaper in the USA:

Acropolis occupied by protesters for second time this month

As the country’s economic crisis deepens, culture ministry workers and public art institutions feel the pain

25 May 10

By Helen Stoilas

New York – Greek culture ministry staff took over the Acropolis today as President Karolos Papoulias and Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos attended the completion of a decade-long restoration on the ancient temple. The workers, who are on short-term contracts, were protesting over more than a year’s worth of back pay and to have their temporary positions made permanent. The demonstration ended peacefully with Geroulanos assuring his employees that a resolution to settle the payment backlog was being voted on in Parliament, and that a new civil service hiring procedure would be put in place when contracts expire in October.

Today’s protest is just the most recent symptom of continuing funding problems in the culture ministry. An exhibition by Russian-born, US-based artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov at the National Museum of Contemp­orary Art, Athens, is an early casualty of the Greek economic crisis. Deep cuts in the nation’s cultural budget, which are part of a package of austerity measures, has resulted in the postponement of the autumn show, “due to the extremely high cost of the exhibition and the very difficult financial situation” according to a museums spokeswoman. Speaking to The Art Newspaper, director Anna Kafetsi said the museum has had a 18.8% reduction in the funding it receives from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as well as difficulty finding private sponsorship. “There is no money for new acquisitions but we will continue our exhibition schedule with lower productions costs,” said Kafetsi. And although it has not had to make any staff cuts, it will not be hiring any new staff for some time. In spite of the cutbacks, the museum opened three new exhibitions on 11 May, including a solo show of Chinese artist Yang Fudong, and says it is receiving many visitors.

Strikes in Athens at the beginning of May also included culture ministry workers and resulted in the closure of museums and archaeological sites, including the Acropolis, which was occupied by members of the Greek Communist Party who hung banners on the Sacred Rock demanding that the “Peoples of Europe Rise Up”.

After three decades of restoration work, the scaffolding comes down at the Parthenon: here.

6 thoughts on “Greek cultural workers occupy Acropolis

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