03-27-2007 10:55

ATHENS, 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.

Greek Culture Minister George Voulgarakis and his French counterpart Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres unveiled a plaque bearing the special distinction.

"The Acropolis represents the civilization shared by all people," Voulgarakis said, adding that the monument also preserves collective memory.

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.


Editor:Liu Fang