The emblematic Parthenon and its surrounds nearly went down on the Greek registry as belonging to an ‘unknown owner’.
Giorgos Dimitriou, head of the company in charge of the land registry, stated that the government had failed to register ownership of Acropolis Hill.
Rectifying this, the Greek Ministry of Culture released a statement declaring its ownership while putting an end to speculation that ancient monuments had been turned over to foreign funds.
In its announcement, the Greek Ministry of Culture said:
“As is well-known, the ownership rights of the Greek public sector on monuments that comprise a special category of public property exempted from market transactions are non-negotiable and exercised by the Ministry of Culture on behalf of the Greek people, to whom they belong throughout time.
“The services of the Ministry of Culture have filed statements for the properties it owns, for the archaeological sites and for the monuments. During this process, the parties involved raised the issue of property ownership documentation for the monuments themselves, without having understood their special status. The uniqueness of registering ancient monuments as “things” that do not carry ownership rights documentation has been noted repeatedly and has finally been understood, since the rights the Ministry of Culture has over them are based on archaeology-related legislation. In this way, the exclusive jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture to register archaeological sites and monuments in the Greek Cadastre has been recognised.
“Given the above, and after settling the nonexistent issue of the lack of property ownership for the Acropolis as well, the Ministry of Culture went ahead and registered itself as its ex lege rightful owner. The creation of false impressions around the above issues lacks meaning.”