Monuments need tourism, experts explain

'Monuments and antiquities are there because there are people who visit them - and tourism is the main vehicle for a site to acquire visitors,' says the head of the Ephorate of Cycladic Antiquities, Dimitris Athanasoulis, seen walking in downtown Athens with Ioanna Dretta, the president of Marketing Greece. [Nikos Kokkalias]

The Culture Ministry's head ephor for Cycladic antiquities hits the nail on the head when he points to one of the most popular islands in Greece to describe the imbalance between culture and tourism. "Some 2.5 million foreign visitors choose Mykonos every year, yet just 185,000 of them make the short boat trip to Delos," says Dimitris Athanasoulis, referring to the protected archaeological site of what was once the Aegean's most sacred destination.

It's a massive disparity - even considering that Delos is a seasonal site - that it is closed when the weather is adverse for sailing, and visitors must pay the cost of the boat trip as well as admission.

It's not just Mykonos though. There are enough examples of this divide to have prompted the archaeologist responsible for protecting, investigating and promoting the island cluster's antiquities, along with Ioanna Dretta,...

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