March 26 (Xinhua) -- The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the pre-eminent
monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments during a special
ceremony in Athens on Monday.
Tourists visit the Parthenon atop the
Acropolis during the announcement of its classification at the top of a
new list of European Cultural Heritage sites, March 26, 2007.
Greek Culture Minister George Voulgarakis and his
French counterpart Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres unveiled a plaque bearing the
"The Acropolis represents the civilization shared by
all people," Voulgarakis said, adding that the monument also preserves
Referring to the return of the Parthenon Marbles, he
stressed that it is up to the British government to correct a "historical error"
and restore the harmony of one of the greatest monuments of humanity.
De Vabres, a moving force behind the initiative,
stressed that "this is the birthplace of the European civilization," referring
to the Acropolis and the surrounding archaeological sites.
Earlier, the two culture ministers signed a
memorandum of cooperation between Greek and French museums to combat the illicit
trade in antiquities and illegal excavations.
Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis were present at the ceremony.