The Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida
The Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolida is a regional service of the Ministry of Culture, at directorate level, it is based in Nafplio and its area of responsibility extends into the Argolis Prefecture.
Its operation is governed by Law 3028/02 on the protection of ancient and cultural heritage in general, which replaced Codified Law 5351/1932 on antiquities.
The purpose of the Ephorate is to protect and display the antiquities which are found within its area of competence.
The competence of the Ephorate extends to all matters related to the preservation, protection and safekeeping of antiquities; the scientific research on, the discovery, maintenance, safeguarding, protection and display of antiquities of Byzantine and later monuments, and their exhibition in museums; the planning, management, study and execution of any archaeological project; the maintenance, repair, replacement, restoration, display and laying out of monuments and archaeological sites, as well as their natural environment; the carrying out of all the above works on a supervisory and ex-post basis; the scientific study and publicising of antiquities; the management of the monuments, archaeological sites, museums and collections within their jurisdiction and which belong to the state; the preparation and recommendation of all archaeological matters before the archaeological councils (the Local Council of Monuments of the Peloponnese and the Central Archaeological Council) and the general application of legislation applicable to the protection of antiquities.
Its priority is to prevent the destruction or alteration of or direct or indirect damage to monuments. Its main concern is the safeguarding of antiquities, not just organised the archaeological sites, museums and storage areas belonging to the Ephorate but those located during on-site investigations or which are uncovered in archaeological digs or excavation work.
The protection of antiquities is ensured by the best possible prevention of illegal excavations, theft or their illegal export. The preventative check, which is carried out systematically on particular areas which have been designated as controlled, or which have been declared archaeological sites, involve citizens in the application of archaeological law.
The close cooperation between foreign archaeological schools, foundations and institutes, which have carried out a series of activities over the years in the Argolis Prefecture, is part of the scientific work of the ephorate, which takes place on an interdisciplinary level with other bodies. The preservation of monuments and moveable finds, the scientific publication of the results of excavations, the planning of the laying out of sites in order to best display them, constitutes the wider framework of the activities of the Ephorate.
The Ephorate of Antiquities of Argolis has been honoured three times by the Prefecture of East Argolis, as part of the awards given by the Organisation of Culture and Athletics: in 2003 for the co-organisation with the French Archaeological School of the international conference 'In the footsteps of Wilhelm Vollgraff (1902-2002). 100 years of archaeological activity in Argos'; in 2005 for its contribution to the reconstruction of the archaeological sites of Mycenae and Epidaurus; and 2006 for the development of the archaeological site at Dendra.
The organisation of periodic exhibitions, educational programmes with the opportunity of the completion of developmental works at archaeological sites, the knowledge and information and participation of the citizen in cultural heritage contributes to its better protection.
Finally, the public is kept informed through continued effort, the best possible use of modern technology for the benefit of the public and the improvement of administrative functions and methods.