Greek govt upset as archaeologists deny BBC access to ancient temple

Washington Post —  Greece’s Central Archaeological Council or KAS denied the one-day access request to the 2,500-years old Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion next month, saying the site would be closed to visitors for too many hours and the production team would be too large.

As a result,the highly-anticipated BBC television series based on John le Carre’s “The Little Drummer Girl” will not include scenes from the ancient site near Athens.

The government reacted angrily to the KAS decision saying that overseas productions could be a key growth area in the country that is emerging from eight years of crippling financial crisis.

“We have declared that Greece is now film-friendly. A few days later, another institution is contradicting this, not us but the hopes and ambitions of artists, technicians and thousands of professionals that are a part of this industry. It is an international embarrassment,” Lefteris Kretsos, general secretary at the government’s media and communication department, said Thursday.

The decision, he said, “once again highlights the issues we have as a country.”

 Filming at Greek archaeological sites, whether for commercial productions or news reporting, requires a permit from archaeologists that is often near impossible and very costly to obtain.