Athens' Acropolis hill gets new lighting system

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ATHENS, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- A new lighting system, which will illuminate the iconic 2,500-year-old monuments of the Acropolis hill in the center of Athens, was unveiled Wednesday evening.

"Democracy and the values of classic Athens need more light nowadays ... By renewing the lighting on the Acropolis I would say we symbolically give them more strength," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during the unveiling ceremony.

Only Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and a small audience attended the ceremony, due to COVID-19 measures.

The burden Greek artists bear on their shoulders to illuminate the work of their ancestors is heavy, said the prime minister, referring to the Emmy award winner Eleftheria Deko and her team who designed the new system.

Different shades of white light of various intensity are used between the outer and inner parts of the monuments "to highlight their architectural elements and enhance perception of their reliefs, depth and plasticity," according to a statement from Greece's ministry of culture and sports.

The new lighting replaced the system which had been set up shortly before the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Greek Culture and Sports Minister Lina Mendoni explained via a live speech during the ceremony on Greek national broadcaster ERT.

"The image of the Acropolis, our foremost monument, reflects and transmits the image of the country. In the midst of the pandemic, it is very important for Athens to be able to offer to Greeks, its visitors and the entire world, a new, upgraded image of the Holy Rock," the minister said, noting that the Acropolis hill was first illuminated in 1959.

The new lighting system is the first of a series of projects aimed at an overall upgrade of the Acropolis' infrastructure and services, both funded and implemented by the Onassis Foundation, she added. Enditem

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