The Athens Acropolis, the symbol of Western civilization, is now more easily accessible to people with disabilities after a new elevator was put into service there on Thursday.
The wheelchair lift will facilitate access to the monuments of the Acropolis in Athens for wheelchair users, elderly citizens and others with mobility problems.
The new, glass-sided elevator allowing its riders to see nearly unobstructed views of Athens as it rises, will start at the level of the ancient promenade, on the north slope of the Acropolis, and will transport visitors directly to the top of the hill.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the elevator is “an iconic project to the global community, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.”
PM Mitsotakis pointed out that both the new elevator and the new pathways make the Acropolis more accessible to those with mobility difficulties and the elderly. Until recent years, the main pathway up the the Acropolis was the only way the ancient buildings could be accessed, and the marble stones there are very slippery.
“This government does not like words, but actions,” Mitsotakis noted, stressing that the project would not have been possible without the help of the Onassis Foundation.
The new inclined elevator replaces a platform lift installed at the side of the hill in 2004, in time for the Olympics and Paralympics.
In recent years, the previous cage-like elevator had become increasingly prone to mechanical failures and had been mostly out of service.
Mitsotakis also referred to the government’s National Plan for the Rights of People with Disabilities, which foresees universal accessibility for all people everywhere, and has been unveiled for public consultation.
“The National Plan for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is my personal commitment, you know all the reasons why I have a personal sensitivity,” said Mitsotakis, who again thanked all those involved, because – as he said – they delivered such a difficult project on time.