DISCOVERY AND UTILIZATION OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF THERMOPYLON
Coordinated action YPPOA-YPOIK
The will of the government for the promotion-utilization of the archaeological site of Thermopylae, the thermal spring and its building facilities, is expressed by the coordinated action of the Ministries of Culture & Sports and Finance, noted in a joint statement of the two ministries. According to the APE-MPE, the announcement refers to the significant progress that has been made in recent months as a “result of hard work, good and methodical planning”, in the directions in which the proposal to promote the archaeological site of Thermopylae, the wall of Phocaea, and in the upgrade of the Histopylon Historical Information Center by the Ministry of Culture, at the same time that the Ministry of Finance is launching the financing of the project from the Recovery Fund, but also from additional resources, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture.
Specifically, the two ministries emphasize that 4 months after the a) unanimous positive opinion of the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) on the updated study “Improvement Interventions of Mild Regeneration – Promotion of the Archaeological Site of Thermopylae” and b) with the approval of the Special of Public Real Estate (ESHADA) and the Strategic Environmental Impact Study (SPS) of Thermal Gates Thermal Gate by the Central Council of Public Property Management (KSD), the progress is significant, a result of hard work, good and methodical planning. In particular: In the context of the effort to regenerate the historic area of Thermopylae paid by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, in collaboration with the Municipality of Lamia, a series of studies have been prepared regarding the promotion of the battlefield itself – including ancient and modern monuments and the upgrade of the Histopylon Historical Information Center, in order to provide enriched and universal information to the visitor about the place and its history.
The proposal to highlight the archaeological site moves in two directions:
1st Thermopylae Site: The “Study of Improvement Interventions for Mild Regeneration – Promotion of the Archaeological Site of Thermopylae” has been approved on March 16, 2022, after several modifications and after the opinion of the KAS. This study attempts to redesign the space, where and as much as possible, in order to create routes for the movement of visitors in the space, with parallel care for proper planting and lighting, aiming at the discreet highlighting of the historical topography of the area and understanding by the visitor of the ancient image of the place, which is today greatly transformed. The budget of the whole project is estimated at 1,650,000 euros.
2nd Phokea Wall: The Ephorate of Antiquities of Fthiotida and Evritania prepared an architectural and static study for the restoration and fixing of the Phocaean wall, which is the only visible ancient monument in the archaeological site of Thermopylae. The studies were completed in December 2021. They have been submitted to the competent Directorates of the Ministry of Education and Science and it is planned, at the beginning of May 2022, to be examined by the KAS. The work for the restoration of the wall includes its excavation cleaning. Along with the excavation, the restoration will take place, with the rearrangement of the adjacent material. The project budget is estimated at 700,000 euros.
3rd KIETH upgrade studies: A few days ago, in April 2022, a study was submitted to the Ephorate of Antiquities of Fthiotida and Evritania, prepared by the Municipality of Lamia for the building upgrade and the enrichment of the exhibition infrastructure of the Historical Information Center of Thermopi. from 15 years. This study envisages on the one hand the reconstruction of the space, both externally and internally (budget 811,000 euros), and on the other hand the integration of multiple and varied ways of transmitting information, mainly through digital methods, covering as large as possible large groups of visitors, both age and educational level (budget 606,784 euros). The second part of the above study, in the museological, includes, in addition to the supervisory material, the construction of an archaeological exhibition, where it is planned to exhibit objects from the excavation of S. Marinatos in Thermopylae. Some of them are on display in a special showcase at the National Archaeological Museum. The rest are stored in the warehouses of EAM. It is important that the antiquities are exhibited in the renovated KIETH, close to their natural site, the hill of Kolonos.
For its part, the Ministry of Finance is launching the financing of the project from the Recovery Fund, and is in the process of finding – jointly with the Ministry of Culture – additional resources, for the optimal utilization of the space. In this direction, the overall proposal for the urban regeneration of the area, by the ministry and the Municipality of Lamia, separately and in combination, totaling about 3.5 million euros, is submitted in the coming days and weeks, in April. At the same time, the HRDH assists in the utilization of its property in the area (thermal spring, land area with building facilities).
Specifically, the HRDH property, with a total area of 940 acres, has a usable-commercial area of approximately 115 acres. Within the section to be developed are 2 hotels, and near the limit of the area to be developed is the hydrotherapy center. Forest and archeological characterization procedures have been completed. According to the study of the Special Plan for Spatial Development of Public Real Estate (ESCHADA), which has been completed after cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the use of Leisure Tourism is envisaged, focused on the development of therapeutic tourism – wellness tourism – historical tourism. The ESHADA study and the Strategic Environmental Impact Study (SES) were approved by the Central Council of Public Property Management (KSD) on December 9, 2021.
The SMP has been submitted for consultation to DIPA, on January 14, 2022, which has completed the completeness audit. The consultation will start in April. Its completion is expected at the end of July 2022. The approval of the draft Presidential Decree by the CSF is scheduled for September 2022 and the start of the bidding process in October / November 2022. Pre-marketing has already begun. Following the above developments, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, stated, among other things: “We are in full, very creative cooperation, with the Ministry of Finance and the Municipality of Lamia. We have systematized and accelerated our efforts, in order for this particularly important project for the country to proceed with specific timetables and to secure its budget. Thermopylae is a place with a high symbolism of defense of ideals and duty. It is an archeological site with international radiation, which we must highlight, according to its special importance for the evolution of European history “.
For his part, the Minister of Finance Christos Staikouras stressed, among other things: “The Ministry of Finance, in full coordination with the Ministry of Culture & Sports and the HRDH, and in cooperation with the Municipality of Lamia, is accelerating the procedures concerning it. The decision of the Central Board of Directors, the launch of the tender process by the HRDH and the search and finding of financial resources by the Recovery Fund and other sources, are important steps in the effort. We are working, with rationality and method, so that the world-famous archeological site of Thermopylae acquires the shine it deserves and the adjacent wealth resource is utilized quickly, expanding the productive base of the region and the country “.