Greece spikes stilettos from ancient sites

18th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

A set of guidelines coming into force from next January will also ban food and drink at on-site performances and forbid entry to anyone who is drunk.

Athens -- Greece wants to discourage women from wearing stiletto heels at summer performances held in key archaeological sites because of damage to the monuments, a senior culture ministry official said Thursday.

"Female visitors must wear shoes that do not wound the monuments," Eleni Korka, director of Greek prehistoric and classical antiquities, told AFP.

"These monuments have a skin that suffers and people must realise that."

A set of guidelines coming into force from next January will also ban food and drink at on-site performances and forbid entry to anyone who is drunk.

Show operators are also held to strict decibel limits and rules covering the installation and removal of scenery, Korka added.

"There is great pressure on the ministry to grant the use of archaeological sites from April to October but this is a schedule which the sites cannot bear, there must be a limit," she said.

Greek archaeologists are concerned that key sites such as the Roman-era Odeon of Herod Atticus in Athens and the Classical-era Epidaurus Theatre in the Peloponnese are showing the strain of continuous use, both in terms of wear caused by show equipment and the passage of thousands of spectators.

In 2006, the ministry stopped performances in August at the Odeon, saying the site had seen "excessive use" and was in need of maintenance.

A year earlier, maintenance crews found and removed an accumulated 27 kilogram’s (59 pounds) of chewing gum wads stuck under the marble seats.

AFP/Expatica

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