Save and Restore Ancient Diolkos αγγλικά/ επικαιρότητα

Sponsored by: Sofia Loverdou–

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Our petition is:
We declare ourselves against the mentalities and practices that lead to the destruction of the world’s heritage and we ask the Greek Prime Minister to exercise his authority so that, without any further delays and hypocrisy, the Diolkos is finally saved and restored.
The text and links below are general information (not part of the petition): Updated: October 16th, 2010
– recent videos, photos, links to documents etc.:
– This petition has already been signed by concerned citizens from 116 countries (see list at the end)
The Diolkos, the unique paved way which enabled transportation of entire fleets overland across the Isthmus of Corinth, is  crumbling into the water at its western end. After the excavation (~1960), great part of this famous monument – commonly dated to the times of Periander, around 600 BC – was left at the mercy of its position near the Corinth Canal.
Although professing care for the monument, whose deteriorated parts were known to BOTH the Canal Company AND the archaeologists at least since the 1930s, years before the axcavation(!), the services of the Greek Ministry of Culture have CONSISTENTLY  kept themselves totally unprepared to protect it, limiting themselves to producing ridiculous lies at every attempt of control.
Appallingly, the Ministry had ABANDONED Diolkos’ protection to its destroyers (the Canal Company), systematically MISINFORMING everybody about both their own and the Canal Company’s doings or intentions (follow the link from my YOUTUBE profile to see official documents). Salvage actions were FIERCELY denied!
Justice investigations (already since 1999!) and world-wide ridicule (as for example a 2008 BBC coverage – see link below), have induced the Ministry to more promises for protection. Some partial temporary interventions (attempted first in 2007 and redone a little better in 2009) are however the only REAL work done so far ( long after the Ministry had received – on top of everything else! – a POLICE document inviting them to act in order to avoid accidents!
Both the local office of the Ministry AND the Directorate for the Restoration of Ancient Monuments (DAAM) presented untrue descriptions of the erosion in 2006. DAAM described the long, devastated stretch of Diolkos as just having “subsidence”. It followed that there was no hurry in protecting it from the sea – an idea promoted “under the table” even AFTER subsequent (but wildly delayed) autopsies by other Services of the Ministry HAD to report more damage.
The local office’s description TOTALLY DISREGARDED the devastated parts of the monument vaguely PRESENTING as its only problem the stones that had fallen from A PART OF IT…!!!
Although the Ministry pretends since 2007 to be following a decision for IMMEDIATE salvage actions, no other work was undertaken! A fund of 300.000 euros destined to Diolkos by the Greek Ministry of Economy in 2007, WAS NOT ABSORBED!
Although documents ostentate a profusion of presumed care, the Ministry MADE SURE in September 2007 to incorporate a term linking works on Diolkos to a “common interministerial decision” and then relied on THIS to continue their inactivity!
It took the Ministry more than one year to convene the supposed partners; when they met, around the end of 2008, everybody agreed that NO such thing as a common interministerial decision (KYA in greek) was necessary. Instead of going on with arranging the monument’s protection after 50 years of destruction – which was their duty AT ALL TIMES anyway -, the Ministry people preferred just to TAMPER with the minutes of the meeting so that everybody was made to appear to have agreed about the need for a KYA!!! (Even the person presiding the meeting had “disappeared” from this “corrected” account!). The minutes were NOT signed by at least one of the other Ministries (that I know of) but the Ministry of Culture continued to pretend a KYA was necessary.
Reports about this “assisted demolition” have reached the members of the Greek Parliament  during the last year; more details exposed around the end of August 2010, pressed the Ministry again to some movimentation, PRIMARELY aimed, as always, to saving… themselves and CONSTRUCTING presumed evidence of their care. (For a small example, see the video entitled “The truth about cement blocks” on my YOUTUBE page).
Between other things, however, it seems that the KYA condition has been lifted. Anyway, since the Ministry has been pretending for long decades  that the protection of Diolkos from the sea was not their business (!!!) – we might just be entering another phase of idiotcy and hypocrisy in which the preparations for the permanent wall needed will be again bounced here and there or given AGAIN to the Canal Company (leaving open the possibility of more and more years of stalling); THIS might serve the two major complices of the Diolkos scandal quite well, since the active destroyer of the monument (the Canal Company) will be made to appear as having just… delayed a little bit to conform to the “terms” set (in 1984!) by the Ministry of Culture!!!
(A word of explanation: 1984 is the date of the EARLIEST KNOWN document of the Ministry – a hypocritical term presumably asking the Canal Company for some kind of study regarding DIolkos in order to give permission for the construction of a nearby bridge. The Ministry people were quick to withdraw the term in 1985 after political intervention(!) but continued to pretend they were expecting a study from the Canal Company while Diolkos – already seriously damaged in 1984 – continued to disintegrate! The Ministry has been setting THIS as a “starting point”,  pretending they are not responsible for the already abandoned monument! Just to give you an idea of the Ministry’s serioussness, a deliberation of the Central Archaeological Council which presumably called for protection measures four years later (1988) mentioned the Diolkos as been part of Ancient Corinth – a totally different and distant community from the city of Loutraki to which the monument belongs administratively!!! The “protection measures” for the agonizing monument resolved to proposing some benches and lighting fixtures, a silly little “study” pressed again and again for approval  while the initial parts of Diolkos were disappearing. Furthermore, while the Ministry continued to pretend they were waiting for the Canal to produce some kind of study, the Canal Company HAD PREPARED (in 1986) a (rather questionable) study for redoing the retaining walls of the whole Canal, comprising DIolkos, which the Ministry of Culture seemed NOT to be aware of in 2001. I am closing this parentesis here, just by saying that every bit of the Ministry’s presumed “care” for DIolkos has been similarly ladden with idiotcy,  glaring inability, hypocrisy as the example I have very briefly referred to. At the beginning of 2006, after having talked with other Ministry people, a high officer of the Greek MInistry of Culture actually TOLD ME ON THE PHONE that he “did NOT think DIolkos would ever be DONE”. It is more than apparent that at some time, the Greek Ministry of Culture had DECIDED they would NOT do anything to save the initial parts of Diolkos!)
Hushing up ALSO what intervened between 2007 and today seems to be already in act  at the Ministry – as is the case with every LIE that has determined and ENSURED the monument’s severe deterioration!
Amidst new promises, the large exposed sections of the monument continue to be violently attacked, while the erosion also approaches a large part of Diolkos  from the side.  (Updated October 16th, 2010).
With Diolkos’ decay going on, our petition is:
We declare ourselves against the mentalities and practices that lead to the destruction of the world’s heritage and we ask the Greek Prime Minister to exercise his authority so that, without any further delays and hypocrisy, the Diolkos is finally saved and restored.
– info in english (not updated):
– 2008 BBC video:

– recent videos, comparative photos & links at:

– On EUROPA NOSTRA:–amp–share/57/

This petition has already been signed by concerned citizens from 116 countries:
Greece, Cyprus, USA, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Austria, France, Andorra, Spain, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Brazil, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Ireland, Iceland, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Albania, Serbia & Montenegro, Japan, Taiwan, China, Repubic of Korea, Hong Kong, Macao, South Africa, Mozambique, Mauritius, Liberia, Ghana, Senegal, Cape Verde, Togo, Nigeria, Democratic Republic Of The Congo, Kenya, Uganda, New Zealand, Fiji, Guam, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana, Aruba, Chile, Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Seychelles, Philippines, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Iran, Iraq

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