Staff guarding the archaeological site of the Acropolis in Athens have sent a letter of protest to the government expressing indignation about a plan to allow a private company to run the access gates to the famous site.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni and the Hellenic Organization of Cultural Resources Development, they say the perennial task of the constitutionally enshrined safeguarding of antiquities is being assigned to “whoever offers least to control the gates of the Acropolis”.
According to the media outlet Documento, which published the letter, the employees complain that for several years the Hellenic Organization of Cultural Resources Development has not had any printers or more than two or three ticket houses. They say also that, for a number of years, they did not change the batteries at the turnstiles, resulting in “increasing the required human resources”.
In early December, media announced a tender was being offered for “the provision of services for the operation of the electronic ticket issuing and cancellation system, reception, and service of visitors at the entrance gates of the archaeological site of the Acropolis”.
The winner has yet to be announced.
The provision of services includes “any related supporting service by the contractor’s staff with the aim of improving the quality of the services offered to the public”.
The estimated amount that the contractor would receive exceeds 1,600,000 euros without VAT and concerns only the provision of services at the entrance gates of the site.
The Ministry of Culture earlier opened a tender for the 59 coffee shops at the archaeological sites and museums. This passed to a well-known catering chain. Most small and medium-sized businesses could not meet the basic criteria to participate in the tender, which was an annual turnover for the last five years of more than 1 million euros.
Source : BalkanInsight