Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

Protection and utilization of cultural heritage in the case of the district of Copais

What was once lake Copais lies in surroundings that are both natural and cultural .These are defined on one hand by the nature of the environment-originally it was a lake and after its drainage a cultivated plain. On the other by the different creative activities exercized on it and by the various socio-economic relations which have developed in this environment at every stage of its existence. Copais is a tectonic recess which is surrounded by mountains and receives the waters of the adjacent rivers. Since the days of antiquity, the lake’s drainage has been a constant preoccupation of its neighbouring population. In the fourteenth century BC the ancient Minyes managed to harness the waters of the lake waters and thus created the first techno-hydraulic work in Europe. In modern Greece the drainage and exploitation of lake Copais was carried out by the English company “Lake Copais Co. Ltd” (1886-1952), while the next manager of the work was until recently the “Copais Organization” (1953-1996). The former English installations (buildings, technical works, mechanical equipment) have been characterized by the Greek Ministry of Culture as historical monuments to be preserved, since they form “a complete agricultural and industrial complex, unique to Greece, with historical importance for the habitation and socio-economic development of Boeotia and Greece in general”. The nature of this agricultural and industrial complex (natural, technical and built environment) demands an overall approach, interpretation and management of the monument. The creation of an eco-museum will serve as the cultural medium protecting and utilizing its distinctive features. The function of such an institution should be combined with special forms of tourism -agricultural, ecological, cultural— which, are mild forms of tourism compared to mass tourism, respect the environment and do not cause cultural downgrading. These proposals suggest possibilities and choices for the protection and utilization of the Greek cultural heritage.