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Greece Could Reopen Cultural Venues In Three Stages in May

Greece reopening
People entering the state-of-the-art Acropolis Museum in Athens. Credit: Erik Drost/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

There will be a staggered reopening in Greece for all cultural venues, comprised of three stages, with officials meeting on Friday to discuss the government’s proposals for reopening facilities such as museums, theaters, and cinemas.

The Committee of Infectious Diseases will meet with Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni in order to discuss the reopening of cultural venues as Greece prepares for tourism this Summer.

Three stages of reopening Greece

The first key date, or “stage,” in the reopening of cultural venues in Greece is May 14. The government has proposed that museums should reopen on that day, in order to coincide with the beginning of the Greek tourism season.

The second stage would include the opening of summer cinemas on May 21. These open-air cinemas are popular across Greece during warmer months and their reinstitution would signify a partial return to normalcy. However, it has already been clarified that the government is not considering opening conventional indoor theater cinemas any time soon.

The third and final stage of Greece’s cultural reopening is proposed for May 28, when music concerts will again be allowed to take place.

Cautious reopening across country

However, officials note that coronavirus regulations must remain in place during the reopening of cultural activities in Greece.

These activities can only be enjoyed by individuals wearing protective face masks, and social distancing will still apply to all attendees. Additionally, it is expected that temperature checks will be required prior to entry into all venues, and there will be strict capacity limitations on them as well.

The same regulations that apply to other hospitality sector workers are likely to be expected of culture sector workers as well; this includes the wearing of mandatory face masks as well as self-testing for the coronavirus twice a week.

New sites and museums to open in Greece in 2021

The 2021 tourism season will also usher in the opening of new sites and museums  to visitors:

The first is the Democracy Museum on Agios Efstratios (or Ai-Stratis) island. The island, located in the Northeastern Aegean, was where political prisoners were sent during the years 1930-1943 and 1948-1963.

The Loverdos-Ziller Mansion on Mavromichali Street in Athens will also be opening its doors to visitors as a museum. The building, which was constructed in 1882, was the residence of iconic German architect Ernst Ziller. The mansion was left empty for many years before being restored by the Ministry of Culture’s Directorate for the Conservation of Ancient and Modern Monuments.

The archaeological site of the ancient Theater of Aigai (Vergina) in the Imathia region will also be open to visitors this year. Construction on the theater began in the second half of the fourth century BC; however, it was never completed. This is due to the destruction of the city of Aigai in the middle of the second century BC.

Museums and other cultural hotspots, both new and old, will be part of Greece’s staggered reopening this Spring and Summer.

Although these activities will need to start operations extremely cautiously in order to safeguard guests from the further spread of the coronavirus, this surely won’t undermine the cultural enrichment one gains from visiting them.

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