There’s good news for wheelchair-users who plan to visit Athens this summer – the Acropolis elevator is up and running again. And apparently the repair was — at least in part — spurred on by Facebook.
It all started on a school field trip in late March — when the Second Primary School of Nea Redestos visited the historic site. When they arrived to find the elevator non-operational, the teachers did the best they could, and carried a disabled student up the steps of the monument. And after the trip, an angry letter was posted to Facebook by the parents association of the school. Shortly thereafter, the elevator — which had been out of service for many months — was repaired.
The Greek Ministry of Culture apologized for the elevator problems and explained that “due to inadequate maintenance, elevator operation is often interrupted.” The ministry subsequently announced the resignation of the the head of the Athens Ephorate and the head of the Department of Archaeological Research – two officials considered responsible for the delays, as well as “a series of mistakes in managing the country’s top monument.”
The ministry also added that it’s examining the possibility of construction of a new elevator to improve wheelchair-access.
The current elevator is located on the northwest side of the monument. The best way to get there is to ask your taxi driver to drive you over to the elevator. You’ll have to stop to buy tickets, but the guards usually let disabled visitors drive all the way over to the elevator. There is a platform stair lift that leads up to the elevator; and because of its construction the elevator may be shut down during high winds. Best bet is to call (0030) 210 3214172 or (0030) 210 3214173 to make sure it’s working on the day of your visit.
In any case, three cheers to the Greek Ministry of Culture for getting the elevator up and running. Now everyone can visit the Acropolis again.