INTRODUCTION: As part of a campaign to save the crumbling ancient monuments of the Acropolis, the Greek government has banned motor vehicles from Acropolis Hill itself, in an effort to cut down the damaging effects of exhaust pollution.
INTRODUCTION: As part of a campaign to save the crumbling ancient monuments of the Acropolis, the Greek government has banned motor vehicles from Acropolis Hill itself, in an effort to cut down the damaging effects of exhaust pollution. Air pollution has done more damage to the buildings in the past 50 years than the combined effects of the elements and wars in the 2,500 years since they were built.
SYNOPSIS: The buildings are deteriorating so rapidly, the government has been forced to take drastic action. The thousands of tourist buses which would otherwise roll up and down the 600-yards (metre) road to the Acropolis will park well away from now on. the millions of tourist feet which have worn the building rock smooth in places will continue to cause damage. The government, however, can do little about the tourists, who bring with them valuable revenue.
With the help of money from a United Nations appeal, the government is proceeding with urgent restoration work on the buildings. The work involves the removal of damaged statues and replacing them with plaster replicas. The originals will be stored until a way can be found to treat them to make them impervious to the ravages of air pollution.
The Greek government estimates it will cost about 9 million sterling (15 million US dollars) to perform the initial restoration work. But in the meantime it is creating a pollution-free zone around the Acropolis to try to arrest the decay. The vehicle ban is just a part. The government is also insisting that buildings in the vicinity use fuel oil with a lower sulphur content. Sulphur and carbon oxides are another major cause of damage.