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STATE LAW FOR THE PROTECTION OF CAVES

- No 398/8-7-1983, 34593/11080

The Ministry of Culture, considering the relevant laws about the protection of antiquities, has decided the following:

a. Caves are archaeological sites in danger of destruction. This means that any finding or object or remains indicating human presence in a cave (tools, bones, etc.) in times past is considered an archaeological object and is subject to all state laws concerning antiquities.
b. Caves are natural monuments of great historical, aesthetic, ethnological, anthropological and pale anthropological value.
c. The protection, investigation, excavation, conservation and study of caves, as well as the publication of archaeological reports concerning caves, is the responsibility of the State, and of the Ministry of culture and Sciences in particular.
d. Any action on caves by any state, or educational, or private agencies is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry, according to the Law. Local Ministry offices and local authorities are responsible for the protection of caves and chasms in their area and no agency, Greek or foreign, is allowed to intervene, explore, exploit or develop the caves and chasms, in any way whatsoever, without prior consultation and approval by the Ministry.

Athens, June 23, 1983
The Minister of Culture and Sciences
Melina Merkouri

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