Greek culture minister heads tour for children on Acropolis ahead of World Heritage Day

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ATHENS, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Greece is working to bring its youth closer to cultural heritage and pass on to next generations the message of its promotion and protection, Greek Minister of Culture and Sports Myrsini Zorba said on Wednesday from the top of the Acropolis hill in the center of Athens.

On the occasion of the International Day of Monuments and Sights (or World Heritage Day) that is celebrated every year on April 18, with the assistance of archaeologists, the Greek official headed on Wednesday a special guided tour for a group of local students to the 2,500-year old Parthenon and other monuments on the hill.

The goal was to highlight the necessity of creating strong bonds between younger generations and the country's cultural heritage, Zorba told Xinhua.

The Greek ministry has dedicated the observance of April 18 this year in particular to Greek youth and its dialogue with the monuments.

On Thursday free admission will be offered to all visitors of all museums and archaeological sites across the country.

"For us the World Heritage Day is not only symbolic. It is a day when we must welcome in particular the younger generation, children and youth, for their ties with the monuments, for this important relationship," Zorba said.

"The monuments are not dead sites. They are talking to us, as long as we know how to read them. The children know very well which is the significance of the words monument and memory," the minister noted.

Zorba was impressed with the knowledge and the respect the group of students from elementary schools of Athens showed about Greek sites, but also other great monuments included in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.

The children who participated in the tour also expressed enthusiasm and determination to learn more and work on the preservation of the monuments.

"It was very nice. The minister explained to us very well about these monuments and we understood more things," Yannis, one of the students, told Xinhua.

"I am very happy that we have such a great monument in our country and I hope more schools will come here to visit. It was a very nice experience," Stavros said, standing near the Parthenon temple. Enditem

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