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Greece denies filming permission to BBC mini-series in archaeological site of Sounion

Greece’s Central Archaeological Council on Wednesday refused a production company permission to film scenes from the BBC mini-series “The Little Drummer Girl” in the archaeological site in Sounion on April 12.However, it granted filming permission in the Acropolis at night.

According to news agency amna, the decision was made by a slim margin and permission was denied for three reasons: the long duration of filming at a peak time for the site (in one day, from 7:00 until 19:00 hours), the very large number of people involved (with up to 120 ranged at various points to stop the flow of visitors, as necessary) and the heavy equipment that would be used, which would interfere with the operation of the site.

The production company had offered to reimburse visitors that decided to leave because of the film crew’s presence and also to inform the media and others affected. The same company was granted permission to film in the Acropolis but at night, when the site is closed to visitors.

Adapted from a spy novel by John le Carre, the BBC mini-series is directed by S. Korean film maker Park Chan-wook (Old Boy, The Handmaiden, Stoker), starring Alexander Skarsgard, Michael Shannon and Florence Pugh. According to a representative of the production company, Park Chan-wook personally wanted to film in Sounio, amna notes.

Greece has been hard struggling to get filming production companies to its iconic landscapes, however, many bureaucratic and taxation hurdles have been the projects almost impossible. The government has many times announced to make procedures lighter. However, filming or holding other events in archaeological sites is not an easy issue. Last year, Greece rejected requests by fashion houses Channel and Gucci to stage runway shows in the Acropolis.

Granting permission to BBC seems like a small breakthrough.

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