The Greek government intends to bring forward the deadlines for completing work on the Kasta Hill Tomb in Amphipolis, Serres so that the site can have visitors from early 2022 on, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni announced on Saturday.
During a tour of the site along with Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas, the culture minister noted that due to the size and layout of the tomb the monument could receive groups of five to six visitors at a time.
After the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) unanimously approved the study for restoring the tomb and its surroundings on December 17, Mendoni noted that the first phase of the work can be completed six months earlier than the original deadline, in June 2021 instead of early 2022.
The minister also underlined her determination to work tirelessly to ensure that the deadlines can be brought forward, saying that everything was ready for the work to continue without obstruction after the completion of the first phase.
Asked when the monument could open for the general public, Mendoni said that there is much that needs to be done and pointed out that it had taken 20 years for the tomb of Philip in Vergina to open to the public, though modern means can make it possible to take less time to complete necessary works at the Amphipolis site.
“I live for the day the Lion of Amphipolis will be transferred to the Kasta tomb,” the regional governor said. “That will happen too,” was the culture minister’s answer.
Architect Michalis Lefantzis, who guided the minister and the regional governor around the site, noted that 330 large slabs of marble that were structural elements of the enclosure around the Kasta hill tomb had been transferred back there from the site of the Lion of Amphipolis, where they had been stacked in order to facilitate the excavation.
The slabs have now been placed next to each other like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, waiting for their precise position in the original structure of the enclosure to be determined.
After a meeting with the excavation staff, the culture minister appeared optimistic about the rate of progress but asked them to have a university team to resume the stalled examination of the bones found on the site.