Desperate times require desperate measures. That seems to be the mantra coming out of Greece these days, where the country has gone from debating whether or not it should lease out the Acropolis to just how much they should charge. Yesterday, the Greek cultural ministry announced that it will begin renting some of its most well known, and iconic, archeological sites, starting with the Acropolis itself, for about $2000 per day.
Members of the cultural ministry were quick to point out that leasing the monument, which happen to be a World Heritage Site, would come with a number of strict stipulations. For instance, it would only be available for advertising firms wanting to use the ancient ruins as part of a photo shoot, or for demonstrators looking for a place to stage a protest. The cost could be as low as 1600 euros (roughly $2057) per day however, which makes it a relative bargain for a place with so much history.
As you can imagine, archaeologists are less than thrilled at the thought of Greece renting out its historical sites. Critics of the plan fearing further damage to the already fragile ruins and a perceived cheapening of history itself. But the ministry says that the plan only makes good economic sense, and that all funds raised in this manner would go directly towards the maintenance of the sites themselves. At this point, with the government already strapped for cash, they need all the help they can get.
While this news is a bit sad, it could have easily been worse. Considering the fact that Greece is facing major debt default in March, we should feel lucky they aren’t selling the corporate naming rights to these sites like many sports franchises. One can only imagine how much revenue The Amazon Acropolis or the Delphi Oracle by Google could have brought in.
[Photo credit: Steve Swayne via WikiMedia Commons]