The problem that has kept the wheelchair lift to the Athens Acropolis out of commission since the autumn was not the result of negligence but "serious safety concerns", the Greek archaeologists association (SEA) said in announcement on the issue, condemning the culture ministry's demand for the resignations of the head of the Athens Antiquities Ephorate and the Archaeological Works and Studies Department.
In the announcement on Saturday, SEA cited issues with falling rocks that had prevented the lift from working, as well as the poor condition of the walls on which the lift was supported, saying that a temporary suspension of its operation was decided in November 2018 to protect the public.
"Fixing the problem required extensive stabilisation works, following specialised studies, that were carried out by the Acropolis Monuments Conservation Service and completed in April 2019," the announcement said, noting that the ministry had been aware of the problem and the work undertaken to correct it all along. The information had also been posted for all interested parties until the lift resumed its operation in May, following repairs to damage caused by a lightning strike shortly after the problems with the rock face was corrected, it added.
The ministry asked for the resignations of the two officials on Friday, following complaints over the lack of disabled access to the monument, claiming negligence and poor management of one of the most important monuments in the country and the world.