Museum of the History of the Olympic Games Looted

What would prompt a Culture Minister to resign in Greece? Looting of a museum. On February 17, two armed robbers knocked out the alarm, overpowered a sole guard, and stole more than 60 artifacts from a museum dedicated to the ancient Olympic Games.

This was a second theft from a Greek cultural institutions in a month, following an attack on the Athens National Gallery. While looting of Greek cultural heritage is not new, the political unrest and country’s debt crisis have resulted in decreased security of archaeological sites and museums. Is one of the possible reasons for the lax security at the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games is a measure Greece is implementing to receive international bailout? One ministry representative was quoted as saying that “museums nationwide were over 1,500 guards short of a full complement after over two years of public sector layoffs… All museums have suffered cuts, both in guards and archaeologists, the staff are no longer enough to operate at full shifts.”

Source: AFP.

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