The strong reaction of the Minister of Culture Linas Mendoni was caused by the accusations “of regime and barbaric perceptions at the expense of the cultural heritage of the country”, both of the president of SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras and of his party officials, on the occasion of the debate in the Plenary, of the bill for the modernization of museum policy.

Mrs. Mendoni accused the officials of the official opposition of “hypocrisy and an attempt to exploit the legitimate concerns of people of culture”, while she argued that “the mobilizations of the artistic world have the participation of only 15% of the total number of employees in the Ministry of Culture”. Addressing SYRIZA-PS, she spoke of “professionals of anger”.

“A regime is established by those who want to control the joints of power and not by the ND government. A regime of political brutality is established by those who sell off 11,000 monuments to the Superfund and then try to collect them. Those who do not hesitate to extract the antiquities – from the Agia Sophia Metro station – of equal and more important value than those at the Venizelos station – out of ideologies. Those who don’t care and then tell me about “cementing” for people with disabilities who wish to visit the Acropolis and those who are supposed to be cut out for artistic education,” said the Minister of Culture and added:

“If I’m not mistaken, for 4.5 years they were, the same ones who are reacting, in the SYRIZA government which did absolutely nothing for artistic education. Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the first prime minister who recognizes the problem that artistic education has been neglected over time and for this reason he committed himself that in the next three years there will be a Higher School of Performing Arts. And the Ministry of Culture has been working in this direction since 2021, and by March 31st the three committees that have already been set up will give their conclusion.”

Commenting on the reactions of artists and parties that request the withdrawal of the Presidential Decree, Ms. Mendoni countered that “the DP codified what was in force and applied in Greek legislation and public administration around the extremely complex issue of artists’ qualifications”.

“There are many announcements for the recruitment of artists of the DE category in the public sector under SYRIZA and they highlight the deep hypocrisy of the official opposition,” the minister emphasized.

Referring to the disagreements over the bill and the transformation of the country’s five major museums into NPDDs, Ms. Mendoni cited statements by the former Ministers of Culture of the SYRIZA government, Myrsinis Zorbas and Nikos Xydakis, who, she said, were in favor of a model similar to the operation of the Acropolis Museum and other museums, speaking of “professionals of rage”.

“We have not violated any labor rights and the law on the wages of artists is based on a SYRIZA law of 2015. The people who have taken to the streets today against the bill are about 15% of the employees of the Ministry of Culture. This is “mass mobilization”. We have heard of the scientists who have risen up against the bill. I suppose that on the scales of SYRIZA the good and excellent scientist Angelos Haniotis counts more than many other brilliant scientists”, he said.

As Ms. Mendoni argued, the 487 scientists cited by SYRIZA as reacting did not know about the bill as the letter they sent was dated April 2021, before the consultation even began. “So what bill did the 487 oppose when they didn’t know the bill? What is certain is that with their letter to the prime minister, they request that a bill not be tabled that would allow different treatment of the 5 museums from the management of the rest of the country’s antiquities. Therefore, since April 2021, some people have informed 487 people, two years ago that is, about a dangerous bill to come. They are the rage professionals who work very early and very methodically and exploit the reasonable anxieties and concerns of workers in favor of various other interests. Repeat. Today, 15% of all employees of the Ministry of Culture are involved in the strike,” underlined Mrs. Mendoni.

He then spoke about the unreliability of SYRIZA, noting that on 20/6/2015 the then Minister of Culture, Nikos Xydakis, had announced that there would be similar legislation to that of the Acropolis Museum and for other museums, so that they would gain financial independence and are converted to NPDD.

Mrs. Mendoni assured that she has no reason not to accept “the legal reflection raised by the Scientific Council of the Parliament regarding the issue of the annexes and instead of the provision of the joint ministerial decision that exists in the bill, to make it more normative with a Presidential Decree ».

Finally, with regard to the export of antiquities abroad, Ms. Mendoni emphasized that the archaeological law of 2002 is fully respected, according to which their temporary and not permanent export can be allowed for the purpose of exhibiting them in museums or similar places as long as sufficient guarantees and conditions are provided, by decision of the minister and after the opinion of the Central Archaeological Council.