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Sofia Loverdou

12 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2007 :  05:10:49  


Athough relevant services advertise their presumed interest in Diolkos, the erosion still continues to expand under the supposedly "sane" part of the monument. As it does, both ancient blocks AND their immediate substrate are hanging over a void!!!

I still don't know what was decided in a meeting that took place 2-3 weeks ago at the Ministry. I have the impression that MAYBE the permanent wall to protect Diolkos was discussed, but I still don't know for sure and - more importantly - ANY such decision would be of VERY doubtful value if it meant that more deterioration will be allowed untill actual protection work is undertaken.

Respect and attention for Diolkos are still lacking...

In November, the Directorate for the Restoration of Ancient Monuments (DAAM) sent a technical team to retrieve two ancient blocks that have fallen in 2007 from the part designated with the letter G in Werner's plan (you can see this in the link I am giving below). Nevertheless, they recovered only one of the two stones, since the second stone they brought up was NOT the one fallen last February (as instead they thought and aso wrote in their official report!).

This happened although I had personally shown images of the two stones (in two occasions) to the present Head of the Ephorate. Apparently, DAAM and the local ephorate did not coordinate...

During the recent DAAM team's visit, additional supports were place under the stones of the sector E which are now eaten by erosion. To do so, the team entered the sane part of Diolkos WITH THEIR VAN although there is a very convenient access from another point. The official report states that this operation was done in collaboration with the local ephorate; a lady archaeologist was also present, from what I hear (although I don't know who or from what body of the Ministry she was); so THIS leads us to be sure that neither the local ephorate people nor DAAM Knew or cared to look for the other access that wouldn't have a vehicle go over the ancient monument!!!


One more thing that shows how deplorable the role of the local ephorate has been under the former Head, Mr. Mantis (today at the Acropolis!!!), is this:

I had written to ask about a damage I had noticed on the part of Diolkos that is on the Attica side of the Canal (and is free from erosion). Although I had mentioned where this damage was, Mr. Mantis wrote to his superiors stating that they had performed an autopsy and nothing was wrong!!!!!

You can see the damage between the images here

It is on the double row of stones, a very interesting feature of Diolkos. Their western end has been removed (by a bulldozer I think - sometime between 1978 and 1984) and then replaced haphazardly. My recent photo shows only one of the two series (the one at left in the 1960 images which you can also see) but the other end is also damaged.

I DO hope Mr. Mantis does better as Head of the ACROPOLIS ephorate!

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55 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2007 :  06:45:47  


Impressive. These images speak better than any description of the damage.

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Sofia Loverdou

12 Posts

Posted - 30 Jan 2008 :  15:01:14  


While officials are always ready to present presumed proofs of interest for Diolkos, the mental, moral and operational incompetence of the Greek Ministry of Culture is shocking.

Relevant services were so unable to coordinate that a sum assigned some months ago by the Ministry to a “study” for Diolkos is lying unused. This is the second sum of 40.000 euros that the Ministry has been UNABLE - or maybe UNWILLING??? - to put into use (the other sum coming from the Loutraki municipality).

This utter lack of coordination creates serious doubts as to how the Ministry is going to organize things with the Canal Company, as it is SUPPOSED to be doing.

The Diolkos continues to be essentially abandoned. However, protection measures (both as a definite solution as well as rescue actions) should have been undertaken long ago, springing naturally from the mechanisms of the Greek Ministry of Culture.

Since, as indeed seems to be the case, these mechanisms are unable to perform even the most childish task, then I think their workings should be questioned, reformed and provided with INTERNATIONAL SURVEILLANCE in order to fulfill their role in the protection of Cultural Heritage.

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Sofia Loverdou

12 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2008 :  18:49:57  


As international ridicule rises, the Authorities continue to practically disregard the monument.

Although having received repeated reports about the monument, the Office of the Greek Prime Minister has (apparently) NOT been able to produce enough interest in the Central Services of the Greek Ministry of Culture.

The international petition for saving and restoring Diolkos has already received more than 6,100 signatures originating from 97 different countries. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/870477005

More information (in english) about the "modern history" of Diolkos, at: http://www.euroheritage.net/diolkos.shtml

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Sofia Loverdou

12 Posts

Posted - 06 Aug 2008 :  11:31:11  


Please go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7479805.stm
to see the BBC coverage of the Diolkos problem.

It seems the Ministry is slowly starting to put into action the CAS (september 2007) deliberation about
1) preliminary measures of protection
2) getting in touch with other authorities for preparing a permanent solution to the Diolkos problem.

However, past experience does not allow for ANY enthusiasm since every small pass taken now could very well be ALL the Ministry is "planning" to do for the monument.

The job of the Ministry is to PROTECT Diolkos, not to send (with shocking delay) letters it should have sent decades ago....

Needless to say, international exposure and the Diolkos petition go on...


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