Talking to reporters during the presentation of a new temporary exhibition on the Emperor Hadrian at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Culture and Sports Minister Lydia Koniordou on Wednesday noted that the Kasta Tomb in Amphipolis will probably open to visitors in three years.
"We are pressing on regardless, with the Central Macedonia Regional authority and the Interreg cross-border programme," she said, noting that 1.5 million euros will be given by the regional authority and 1.3 million euros by Interreg.
Asked whether the amounts will suffice, the minister said it would be enough to prepare the site for accepting visitors but "not for everything". "It is a very complex monument, which needs gradual restoration and studies depending on what will arise. It is a project that will be monitored constantly as it is being restored," she noted.
Koniordou explained that sections of the monument appear to have been built at different periods in time, though chiefly during the Hellenistic era in the 4th century B.C. The interesting thing, she added, was that large amounts of building materials scavenged during Roman times have been found in the surrounding area and will be returned to Kasta.
The ministry was also pressing ahead with land expropriations around the Tomb in order to merge the archaeological site and allow further excavation work, she added. Earlier this week, Koniordou had announced the inclusion of work to restore the monument in the new European programmes. Work on the structural restoration of the Tomb will begin in late 2018, early 2019 and be finished within a year. This will be followed by the preservation of all murals, floors and decorative elements and the construction of a shell to protect the monument that is expected to happen in 2021.