|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 15, 2010
Kunsthaus Zürich Revives First Museum Exhibition Devoted to Pablo Picasso
Tate Modern's "Sunflower Seed" Exhibit by Ai Weiwei Closed as Health Risk
Part One of Jerry Hall's Art Collection Sells For Exceptional Sum of £2.3 Million
New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art Sells Buildings to Fund Move
Works in 2, 2½ & 3 Dimensions by Acclaimed British Artist Tom Phillips at Flowers
Lost Manuscripts from the Sistine Chapel to be on View in the United States for First Time
Tate Acquires New Works by Emerging and Leading International Artists at Frieze Art Fair
Major Exhibition at Brooklyn Museum Redefines the Role of Female Pop Artists
New Installation of Work by Contemporary Artist Alinah Azadeh at the National Portrait Gallery
Lust and Vice: The 7 Deadly Sins from Dürer to Nauman Opens at Kunstmuseum Bern
Royal Academy of Arts Announces Jeff Koons as New Honorary Member of the Royal Academy
19th Century Quill Pen Given to Russian Prince Aleksander Gorchakov to Sell for £100,000 at Bonhams
Up to 100 Greek Culture Ministry Workers Shut Down the Acropolis, Clash with Police
Iconographic Analysis Conducted by Archaeologists on Murals Reveal Maya Military Life
Museum of American Finance To Display Jeweled Monopoly Set and Host Tournament
World Records for David Hockney, Aaron Young, Sterling Ruby & Dana Schutz at Phillips de Pury
Frieze Art Fair Features 173 of the World's Most Exciting Contemporary Art Galleries
Christophe Cherix Appointed Chief Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books at MoMA
Christie's Evening Auctions of Post-War and Contemporary Art and the Italian Sale Realise $61.2 Million
Design of the Century: Works in Glass and Grand Style Highlight Fall Auction of 20th Century Decorative Arts
Exhibition at Yale Center for British Art Assesses the Career and Legacy of British Architect James Stirling
U.S. Collector and Gallery Owner Larry Gagosian Tops 2010 Art Review Power List
Exhibition at Berlin's German Historical Museum Views Hitler's Hold on Germans
Art World Acts to Save Energy and Money, Mayor Launches Green Visual Arts Guide at Frieze Art Fair
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
Louvre Offers an Overview of Russian Contemporary Art Featuring Works by Twenty Artists
Court: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston can Keep Work Sold in Nazi Era
Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Colorado Art Damage
Recovered Monet to Go Back on View in Poland
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Sotheby's to sell one of Vilhelm Hammershøi's most beguiling interiors: 'Interior, Strandgade 30'
2.- German police find Hitler's lost horse sculptures that vanished the year Berlin Wall fell
3.- New Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education appointed at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
4.- Chrysler Museum mourns passing of Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Amy Brandt
5.- How Iraqi friar Najeeb Michaeel saved ancient Christian manuscripts from Islamic State
6.- Anish Kapoor sculpture 'Blood Mirror' surprises with surface and sound effects
7.- Sotheby's to offer the first painting to be sold from Cornelius Gurlitt's trove of art
8.- Descendants of art collector Peggy Guggenheim go head to head in a French appeals court
9.- Vandalized statues from parks, gardens and public spaces restored at Argentine 'hospital'
10.- Unique 17th century portrait by British artist Mary Beale discovered at McMaster Museum of Art
Acropolis Open for Full Moon as Pay Dispute Solved
Pay Row Kills Acropolis Moonlight Opening
New Acropolis Museum Designed By Bernard Tschumi Architects Opens Today in Athens
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|