Property developers on the Greek island of Mykonos have been accused of ordering a “professional” hit on an archaeologist who found they had broken strict laws protecting historic sites.
Manolis Psarros required hospital treatment after a group of assailants attacked him as he left his house in Athens on March 7, leaving him with broken ribs, a fractured nose and severe bruising to his face.
Psarros’s partner told the Greek newspaper Protothema that the archaeologist received punches to the face, head, and sternum. An employee of the Cyclades Antiquities Authority, a Ministry of Culture and Sports department, Psarros was taken to the hospital and is now recovering at home after suffering broken ribs and widespread bruises.
For the last decade, Mr Psarros has worked for the Cyclades Islands Archaeological Service, ensuring new homes and businesses comply with laws intended to protect the remains of antiquity scattered across Greece.
Mr Psarros and the Association of Greek Archaeologists (SEA) believe that the assault was related to two businesses in the tourist hotspot of Mykonos, which he found had encroached on archaeological sites. The archaeologist took the two cases to the authorities, which are currently under investigation.
Mykonos, a popular tourist destination and Instagram backdrop for influencers, is one of Greece’s most important archeological sites. Off the coast of Mykonos, Delos's island and UNESCO heritage site are the birthplaces of Apollo, according to Greek myth. Apollo’s sanctuary was a popular destination for pilgrims through the first century BCE, and the island became an essential commercial port by the 2nd century CE. However, researchers worry about the increased stress on and degradation of important monuments and cultural sites in Greece, largely caused by excessive tourism, an ongoing issue in Mykonos.
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