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‘Storm Daniel’ Damaged Greek Archaeological Sites: Culture Ministry

Fierce floods caused by Storm Daniel earlier this month damaged historic archaeological sites and monuments in the Thessaly region of Greece, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said on Thursday.

Mendoni was speaking after a review of the impact of the storm on archaeological sites, monuments and ongoing projects in Thessaly’s regional units of Larissa, Karditsa, Trikala, and Magnesia.

The damage, although extensive in some cases, can be rectified, her ministry said in a press release.

“We have given the appropriate instructions for the immediate rescue measures, as well as for the need to prepare the necessary studies, where extensive restoration is required, but also for the preparation of the necessary studies for adaptation, shielding and prevention of extreme weather phenomena, which are becoming more and more frequent due to the climate crisis,” said Mendoni.

“Places of cultural interest are an important factor for economic development, prosperity and job creation, not only for the areas where archaeological sites, monuments or museums are located, but for the wider region” she added.

The devastating floods in the Thessaly region at the beginning of September claimed the lives of 16 people, hitting businesses, homes, crop and livestock production, as well as the road and rail networks.

The biggest damage to an archaeological site was registered in Trikala, where part of the central arch of the 16th-century Salabria Bridge, in the village of Sarakina near Meteora, has collapsed.

The bridge is notable for being a significant example of engineering construction of its period, and linked the eastern to the western mainland.

In the Larissa area, there was damage to Agios Nikolaos Falannis, a 19th-century church with significant frescoes from 1862, where the south wall collapsed.

At the Holy Trinity Church, built in 1880, and at the 15th-century Teke of Hassan Baba, located in the Tempi area near Larissa, water was being pumped out, without any other particular problems being observed.

At the Athanasake Museum in Volos, the building faces problems from water ingress but the exhibits were not damaged.

Reports on other archaeological sites and monuments said the damage caused by flooding was minimal and is already being dealt with. However, significant damage has been done to the infrastructure that supports visitor’ travel routes.

Source : BalkanInsight