|Up to 100 Greek Culture Ministry Workers Shut Down the Acropolis, Clash with Police|
Riot police clash with protesters at the gate of the ancient Acropolis site, Athens' most popular tourist site, which was blocked by angry workers Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010. Police used tear gas to reopen the entrance of the monument. Culture ministry workers on short-term contracts are pressing the government to renew their contracts and are seeking backpay. AP Photo/Petros Gianakouris.
By: Nicholas Paphitis, Associated Press Writer
ATHENS (AP).- Riot police clashed with protesting workers barricading the ancient Acropolis on Thursday, using tear gas to clear the entrance to one of Greece's most famous landmarks.
Up to 100 Culture Ministry workers had shut down the Acropolis on Wednesday morning, complaining they were owed up to 22 months' worth of back pay. The protesters barricaded themselves inside, padlocked the entrance gates and refused to allow any tourists in until their demands were met.
Police in riot gear arrived Thursday morning after a court order said the protesters were hindering access to an ancient site and its 2,500-year-old marble temples.
"Riot police and violence won't break the strike," the protesters chanted, clinging to the entrance gates.
But police used a side entrance to break into the site, then used pepper spray to clear the protesters and journalists covering the standoff from the main gate. At least one protester was led away in handcuffs to a waiting police bus.
Dozens of bemused tourists who had arrived early Thursday morning to visit the ancient site looked on as the standoff unfolded, occasionally snapping pictures of the riot police.
"We know the workers have a right to protest, but it is not fair that people who come from all over the world to see the Acropolis should be prevented from getting in," said Spanish tourist Ainhoa Garcia shortly before the clashes broke out.
Greece is in the midst of a tough austerity program which has cut public workers' salaries and trimmed pensions in an effort to pull the country out of a severe debt crisis. The austerity plan has led to a series of strikes and demonstrations as workers' unions protest the cutbacks.
Guards and workers at archaeological sites have long been complaining they are owed months of back pay, and have shut down the Acropolis before in protest, though usually only for a few hours at a time.
But authorities often are sensitive to protests at the emblematic ancient site, particularly as the country largely relies on tourism for revenue.
And visitors who have traveled from far-flung countries were unimpressed by the protest.
"We think this is a shame. We will not recommend that people come to Greece," said Veronica Traverso, a tourist from Argentina standing with a friend outside the padlocked gates. "We are not to blame for Greece's troubles."
Traverso said she had only two days to spend in Athens and was due to leave the city in a couple of hours her hopes of visiting the Acropolis dashed.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
October 14, 2010
The Audrey Hepburn Stamp: A Portrait of Eternal Beauty to Be Sold by Schlegel Briefmarken
Frieze Art Fair Features 173 of the World's Most Exciting Contemporary Art Galleries
Art World Acts to Save Energy and Money, Mayor Launches Green Visual Arts Guide at Frieze Art Fair
U.S. Collector and Gallery Owner Larry Gagosian Tops 2010 Art Review Power List
Exhibition at Yale Center for British Art Assesses the Career and Legacy of British Architect James Stirling
19th Century Quill Pen Given to Russian Prince Aleksander Gorchakov to Sell for £100,000 at Bonhams
Exhibition at Berlin's German Historical Museum Views Hitler's Hold on Germans
World Records for David Hockney, Aaron Young, Sterling Ruby & Dana Schutz at Phillips de Pury
Museum of American Finance To Display Jeweled Monopoly Set and Host Tournament
Iconographic Analysis Conducted by Archaeologists on Murals Reveal Maya Military Life
Royal Academy of Arts Announces Jeff Koons as New Honorary Member of the Royal Academy
Up to 100 Greek Culture Ministry Workers Shut Down the Acropolis, Clash with Police
Jewish Museum in New York Exhibiont Shows Key Works by Top Women Artists
Joshua Hagler and George Pfau: Nearly Approaching Never To Pass at Reaves Gallery
Michelle Obama Says She's Bringing the Arts to the White House to Lift Young People
3,500 Courtroom Sketches by Marilyn Church Heading for Library of Congress
Egypt's Chief Archaeologist Says United States to Return Smuggled Sarcophagi
Russian Claims to Uncover "Caucasian Stonehenge"
Exhibition at Cantor Arts Center Provides a Glimpse into the Practice of Modern-Day Vodou
Exhibition of New Installations, Light Works, Sculptures and Prints by James Turrell at Gagosian
North Sea Paintings by Distinguished Artist John Virtue on View at Marlborough Fine Art
LACMA Debuts World.Class European Costume Acquisition with Fashioning Fashion
National Gallery in London Invites Contemporary Artist Clive Head to Display His Work
New and Key Past Works in First Show by Marina Abramović on View at Lisson Gallery
Important Photographic Archive Acquired for Birmingham Central Library
Sothebys Announces the Inaugural Sale of Important Russian Art in New York
Personal Collection of Elton John's Mother Sheila Farebrother Offered to Music Fans Around the Globe
Navy Birthplace in Dispute; Five Communities Claim to Be the Navy's Birthplace
Thomas Moran's Early Landscape of Juniata Valley, Pa, is Acquired by National Gallery of Art
Galerie St. Etienne Shows Works by Max Beckmann's Student, Marie-Louise Motesiczky
Norman Dilworth's First Solo Show in Britain in Almost 30 Years Opens at Laurent Delaye
New Book Says Painting Stored Behind a Couch for 25 Years may Be a Michelangelo
Ex-J. Paul Getty Museum Curator Marion True's Trafficking Trial Ends in Italy
Sotheby's Launches App for iPhone and iPad
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Mystery over massive Alexander the Great-era tomb unearthed in northern Greece
2.- An ancient money box containing a large rare hoard of coins found in Israel
3.- Robin Williams' portrait installed today at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington
4.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announces three new contemporary exhibitions in fall
5.- New Aspen Art Museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public
6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art launches 82nd & Fifth app in 12 languages
7.- MoMA online-only publication features new research on Pablo Picasso and Cubism
8.- Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project
9.- Tate Britain welcomes home John Everett Millais's Ophelia and Rossettis The Beloved
10.- Bogart estate: Hollywood golden age icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89 in New York
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|