Greece wants to let pets in more than 120 archaeological sites
ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Pets will soon be allowed at more than 120 archeological sites across Greece, the country’s culture ministry announced Thursday, though not at the Acropolis or some of the other top tourist attractions.
The move, unanimously endorsed by the country’s powerful Central Archaeological Council, will relax current rules that only allow guide dogs for disabled visitors to archaeological sites. The ministry has not specified when the new regulations will be implemented.
The decision is “a first but important step to harmonize the framework for the accessibility of monuments and archaeological sites with the standards of other European countries that already have entry requirements for pets,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni in a ministry press release.
The Council authorized the entry of pets provided they are kept on a leash no longer than one meter (3 feet) or carried by their owners in a pet pouch or carrier. Owners must also show their pet’s health certificate and carry the necessary supplies to pick up their pet’s feces to be admitted, the ministry said. Larger dogs must wear a muzzle.
But some of the most popular archaeological sites, such as the Acropolis of Athens, Knossos in Crete, Ancient Olympia or Delphi, which tend to get very crowded, will remain pet-free, as will ancient theatres, temples, tombs and monuments with mosaic floors.
Cages will be installed at the entrances of more than 110 other archaeological sites, the ministry said, to allow owners to park their pets during their visit.
Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in Greece, generating billions in revenue every year.