A frustrated American archaeologist has a ban breaking proposal: to privatize Greece’s ancient treasures in order to protect them form the economic crisis. According to TIME, Stephen Miller sent a detailed proposal to the Greek Culture Ministry and suggested private companies take over the development, promotion and security of certain under-exploited sites in exchange for a share of revenue generated from tourists.
On the example of the ancient archaeological site of Nemea in Peloponnese, retired archaeologist Miller cannot but express a big frustration about the lack of care and infrastructure that could not only attract more tourists but also keep them in the area.
“Equally frustrating to the 72-year-old is the lack of hotels and restaurants to serve visitors to the site. “The Ministry of Culture does some things very well: it does conservation work extremely well, they are very good at setting up exhibitions,” says Miller. “They are lousy businessmen.”
Miller has a solution, which he says will generate jobs and protect Greece’s vast archaeological wealth from the ravages of an economic crisis which has closed down ancient sites, shuttered museums and caused looting to surge. In a detailed proposal sent to the government at the end of last year, he suggests letting private companies take over the development, promotion and security of certain under-exploited sites in exchange for a share of revenue generated from tourists.
The proposal may not seem too radical at a time when Italy is letting a fashion company sponsor The Colosseum, Britain is privatizing certain services at some iconic museums, and other European nations are selling off job lots of historic buildings as budgets dwindle. But any suggestion of letting Greece’s vast cultural riches fall out of government hands stirs deep nationalist sentiment in a country scarred by repeated plundering by foreign nations. (read full article here )