Flooding took place on the Acropolis, the highest point in the city of Athens, on Thursday after the area was battered by heavy downpours throughout the day.
Social media users argue that the controversial new cement paths constructed on the Acropolis are to blame, as videos circulated showing that the new paths blocked rainwater from flowing out of the ancient site.
As torrential rains hit the city, substantial pools of rainwater began to accumulate on the ancient Acropolis. The normal flow of the water down toward the soil, where it could be absorbed, was apparently prevented by the newly-constructed cement paths around the site.
Greek citizens on social media spoke out vociferously about the development, saying that they were appalled that the plans for the paths, constructed to aid in mobility for the elderly and disabled, did not allow for rainwater drainage.
The Greek Ministry of Culture’s decision in late October to cement portions of the Acropolis, as part of a wider plan to make the Acropolis more accessible to those with mobility difficulties, was met with intense criticism.
Many social media users slammed the decision, arguing that the cement paths took away from the beauty of the site. Archaeologists insisted that the use of cement could have been avoided, advocating for more environmentally-friendly materials.
In response to the pointed criticism, the Greek Ministry of Culture defended its position, saying “The disabled, the elderly, people with various problems have the right to see and admire the Acropolis monuments up close.”
The Ministry of Culture also noted that cement has been present at the Acropolis for many years: “For twenty years, these routes have been paved with cement. The difference is that over time and with millions of visitors walking on them, all these years, the material has been destroyed and the routes are a trap even for those who do not have mobility difficulties.”