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Minister chairs meeting on UNESCO bid for Nikopolis archaeological site

Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni chaired a meeting with local officials and experts on Tuesday, 5 December 2023, to discuss Greece’s bid to have the archaeological site of Nikopolis inducted onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The purpose of the meeting was to set out a timeline for the work that still needs to be done at the site to clinch a successful bid, such as structural, restoriation and preservation work at some of its key monuments and artifacts. 

The plan also includes a visitor’s reception area, cafe and gift shop, as well as paths that will facilitate wheelchair access, among other interventions.

Stretched across more than 1,300 hectares near Preveza in southwestern Epirus, Nikopolis is one of the biggest archaeological sites in Greece. Founded in 31 BC as Colonia Augusta, it was the capital of the Roman province of Epirus Vetus.

According to UNESCO, “the foundation of Nikopolis is directly associated with a major historical event, Octavian’s victory in the naval battle of Actium against the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. 

“It is an event of tremendous historic significance, altering the whole political and cultural context of the time, since it was the last of the civil wars of the Roman Republic, signaling the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire.”

The site also “contains within its boundaries all the key attributes that convey its Outstanding Universal Value, testifying to the urban character of the site and its great importance as a civitas libera, which enjoyed special political and financial privileges and became a major cultural and political centre,” according to UNESCO.