As the country’s museums and archaeological sites prepare to revert to a reduced winter timetable on Saturday, Culture Ministry officials yesterday hailed as a resounding success the enforcement of an extended timetable at most of the country’s sites over the summer.
“The measure proved itself a success,” Culture Minister Costas Tasoulas said of the extended 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. timetable that was put into effect at 33 selected museums and archaeological sites across the country. “New initiatives that succeed should not only be continued but broadened,” the minister said, noting that another 13 sites would be added to the extended itinerary next summer.
The extended hours appear to have had a positive impact on state revenues too, with the ministry’s Archaeological Receipts Fund recording an increase of 16.7 percent in takings in the period from January through September, reaching 39.5 million euros compared to 33.9 million in the same period last year.
The increase followed a 23.5 percent rise in the number of visitors to Greek archaeological sites and museums in the first eight months of this year, with 8.94 million visitors this year compared to 7.24 million in the first nine months of 2013.