The shameful facts of October 14th and the violent police intervention in the archaeological site of the Athenian Acropolis have caused resentment and anger to the archaeologists, as to any citizen
The shameful facts of October 14th and the violent police intervention in the archaeological site of the Athenian Acropolis have caused resentment and anger to the archaeologists, as to any citizen, since such actions stand against the values of our civilization. The invasion of repression forces, remembrance of tyrant Peisistratus’ mercenaries, inside the par excellence site of democracy, undermines the immaterial value and the symbolic content of the Acropolis. The practice of violence states the political choice to maintain a rigid attitude towards the demands of people working in the field of culture, who as other supplicants, in a final effort to be heard, have resorted to the ultimate symbol of democracy, making an extreme and undesirable, in our opinion, action as is the blocking of the entrance of the Acropolis.
We, the Greek archaeologists, for many years stand witnesses of the systematic undermining of the Archaeological Service that aims at its degradation, especially towards the citizens, who suffer when dealing with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, due to the lack of staff and underfunding. The well prepared proposals of the active archaeologists for the improvement of the function of the Archaeological Service, the protection of the monuments and the service to the public, constantly encounter the indifference of every political leadership.
For all the above reasons, the Board of the Association of Greek Archaeologists unanimously decided to call a 24 hours token strike, on Thursday 21st October, 2010, seeking:
· Employment of permanent staff to fill the vacant positions in the Ministry. Immediate appointment of all who, via the official competition procedure, have gained a position and have not yet been employed.
· Abolition of the time limit of 24 months of work, after which the archaeologists are irrevocably fired by the Ministry of Culture. This practice leads the scientists to unemployment, and deprives the Archaeological Service of employers with valuable experience.
· Protection of the public nature of culture. The archaeological heritage is first and above all a social good, a source of knowledge and education for all, not a one-dimensional tradeable product.
· Decent living terms. We ask for the integration of the grant for archaeological research in the basic salary, so that the wages of the archaeologists correspond to their qualifications and to their complex duties.
The AGA coordinates its actions with the organizations of permanent and temporary staff of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, for a better future for both the Monuments and the people working in this field.
We react against the offensive and degrading attitude of the political leadership of the Ministry towards our internationally established work (new museums, enhancement of numerous archaeological sites, original scientific research).
We invite all intellectuals to declare their reaction against the invasion of the police in the archaeological site of Acropolis, a world heritage UNESCO monument, where history continues until today to be recorded.
We invite all citizens to share our struggle to safeguard the cultural heritage that belongs to all of us.
We call the Minister of Culture to open the dialogue and together with us to act immediately to reverse the somber atmosphere culminated by the recent events in the Acropolis and to solve the serious problems in managing our cultural heritage.
Association of Greek Archaeologists