Athens, 25 January 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).
Due to a lack of funds for the upkeep of their ancient sites – the Acropolis, Delphi, Olympus…-, Greek authorities have launched a plan to make the sites more attractive to photographers and cinema producers.
As a result of this policy, the fees needed to hire the Acropolis have gone from $5,000 to $2,050 a day for a film, and from $385 to $256 for a photo session. The fee for using official stills of the site have gone from $140 to $40. The authorities also plan to reduce the red tape involved in obtaining permission to film on the sites.
These changes have provoked negative reactions from both tourist guides and Greek art specialists, who fear that the sites will not be treated with the same respect as previously. The authorities have explained that proposed projects will still have to pass before Greece’s Archaeological Board, and that the sites have been made more accessible, authorisation criteria will continue to exclude projects which pose a risk of damaging the sacred sites. The idea is to promote the use of the sites by small budget projects, rather than by big budget Hollywood action films.
These decisions also aim to promote the sites as tourist attractions. The filming of hit musical Mamma Mia on the previously unknown island of Skopelos has attracted thousands of tourists since 2008.
According to the Greek Statistical Authority, the amount of money spent at these sites has gone up by 5.3% on the previous 9 months of 2011, to $52.5 million, despite numerous strikes by the employees at these sites.