August 4, 2005

Most visitors to Greek sites think that artefacts abroad should be returned

Posted at 12:44 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology

A recently released survey of visitors to Greek Archaeological sites give some interesting statistics. When asked whether they thought that artefacts held in foreign museums should be returned to Greece, 96.1% of Greeks felt that they should, with 84.7% of foreign visitors agreeing with this.

Athens News Agency

Thursday 4, August 2005
Foreigners feel safe visiting Greek museums and ancient sights, survey shows

The vast majority – 92.5 per cent – of foreigners feel absolutely safe when visiting Greece’s archaeological sites and museums, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

The survey was carried out using a sample of 2,718 Greeks and foreigners above 18 at the Athens Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum from June 26 until July 3. It was conducted by Greek Public Opinion on behalf of the Panhellenic Federation of Culture Ministry Associations.

The survey also showed that 81 per cent of visitors were pleased with levels of service by staff in museums and sites, while 96.1 per cent of Greeks and 84.7 per cent of foreign visitors said a demand for the return of ancient Greek archaeological finds was just.

More than half the Greek visitors to sites and museums found that entrance prices and the cost of goods in museum shops was too high, 64.4 per cent found museums to be well organised, while 44.4 per cent believed that archaeological sites were not well maintained, as opposed to 39.6 that believed the opposite.

About 66.6 per cent said that the opening hours were satisfactory, while 52.7 per cent said that they should be extended in the summer months. About one in 10 was in favour of hiring part-time staff to cover additional needs of sites and museums, while 73.7 per cent were against allowing private interests to run them.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis stressed that there was no question of privatising archaeological sites and that these were protected by the Constitution. He said the survey would be used as a basis for ministry action and its goal of flexible and effective policies that involve society and the citizens, since the cultural goods produced should be spread to all social strata.

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