ACROPOLIS PROCLAIMED TOP EUROPEAN CULTURAL HERITAGE MONUMENT

A plaque placed in front of the Parthenon, the pre-eminent Classical-era temple atop the Acropolis, commemorates the fact that the Acropolis was declared as the top European Cultural Heritage monument on Monday, March 26, 2007

Acropolis proclaimed top European Cultural Heritage Monument
The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the pre-eminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments during a special ceremony atop the celebrated hill in the heart of Athens on Monday, in the presence of Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis.

Culture Minister George Voulgarakis and his French counterpart Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres also unveiled a plaque bearing the special distinction.

"The Acropolis represents the civilisation shared by all people," Voulgarakis said, adding that the monument also preserves collective memory.

Referring to the return of the Parthenon Marbles, he stressed that it is up to the British government to correct a "historical error" and restore the harmony of one of the greatest monuments of humanity.

On his part, de Vabres, a moving force behind the initiative, stressed that "this is the birthplace of the European civilisation", referring to the Acropolis and the surrounding archaeological sites.

Earlier, the two culture ministers signed a memorandum of cooperation between Greek and French museums to combat the illicit trade in antiquities and illegal excavations.