According to Dr. Stephen G. Miller, an acknowledged American archaeologist and director of the Nemea excavations, the Nemea stadium is at the risk of closing to the public as part of the harsh austerity measures imposed by the IMF and the Troika.
“The idea is that anyone can feel like an ancient Greek athlete for 10 minutes,” he stated, in a midweek interview at Nemea, adding, “The firing of seven guards would leave active only three permanent guards, which would not even be sufficient to leave the site and museum open to the public. This means that visitors will now find it closed.”
Greece is suffering through its sixth year of recession, a huge financial crisis that has led unemployment and poverty to high records.
As Miller highlighted among others, the treasure of Greece is its antiquities and the young archaeologists trained to look after those antiquities. Professor emeritus of classical archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley, arrived at Nemea in 1973. Forty-five years ago he fell in love with Greece and decided not only to move to the country, but to devote every ounce of his energy to its excavations.
“My life’s work is right here,” he said. “For me, this is very personal.”