The need to accelerate restoration work in Philippi to make up for lost time was stressed by Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni during her visit to the archaeological site, which is also the last monument in our country to have been included in the World Heritage List of Unesco.

Ms Mendoni got a firsthand look at the works for the unification of the archaeological site of Philippi that started a few weeks ago. She was also briefed about restoration work expected to start in the next few days on the ruins of Basilica II. The Minister pointed out that progress in implementing the projects is satisfactory, nevertheless, they should be speeded up more. The projects had been included in funding programmes since 2018, but there had been delays owing to bureaucratic procedures and the coronavirus pandemic.

“But now,” she said emphatically, “all conditions have been met for greater credit absorption and a faster pace”. At the same time, she pointed out, the services must make good preparations for the new programming period, to ensure their re-financing, so that all projects continue normally without any interruption and thereby additional delay in their implementation.

The Minister of Culture described Philippi as a major development resource for the whole of eastern Macedonia and Thrace, which should and can become a pole of attraction for a large number of visitors from Greece and abroad. Moreover she pointed out that if the archaeological site is combined with the first Christian church in Europe, founded by Paul the Apostle, as well as the ancient Egnatia highway, then a framework of broader cultural activities can be created that will significantly contribute to this monumental site’s enhancement.

During her stay in Kavala, Lina Mendoni had also planned to visit the Castle at the top of the Panagia peninsula, where the old town is located, to see up close what opportunities there are for enhancing the buildings within the walls.