Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Donation Box for Delos

A new government, and nearly new news – a new freedom to spend on cultural resources from donations. Good site stewardship requires regular site maintenance, and there has never been sufficient government funds to meet all the needs. In the adjacent reproduced article from Kathemirini, we at the Kommos Conservancy were struck by the efforts of Diazoma for ancient Greek theaters and their success in securing donation box installations for several sites.

It seems that every site designated as significant, with available on site interpretation , would benefit from a web based and an on site management system for the collection of donations and the reallocation of those funds towards the site’s maintenance needs.

Our sources informed us that funds collected from the entrance gate at Knossos, for example, used to be returned to the central government in Athens, but now do to the renewed functional public benefit through reuse, Diazoma’s boxes appear to be for the betterment or maintenance of the theaters directly! Perhaps it depends on the diversity of a designated site’s use to answer the question: Is regional reinvestment better than a centralized allocation for re-disbursement?

The initiative was treated with some suspicion in the beginning. The reason being that its aim, the protection and promotion of ancient monuments, is not the job of private enterprise but the responsibility of the state. Nevertheless, Diazoma, a citizens’ movement that was founded by politician Stavros Benos and whose focus is ancient theaters, is now bearing fruit.

An increasing number of citizens are being sensitized to the idea of ancient theater renovation, seeking out funding for their refurbishment and incorporating the ancient monuments into our daily lives. The movement is even attracting those with very limited financial resources.

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