Unlike the Acropolis, many classical sites are under threat from looting.

Y. Karahalis/REUTERS

The economic and political turmoil in Greece is not just jeopardizing the country’s economic future, it is also having a devastating effect on the country’s rich cultural past, according to archaeologists in Athens.

Last month, the Association of Greek Archaeologists warned that the economic policies dictated by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund would cause “the destruction of both our country and our cultural heritage”. The austerity measures intended to cut government debt have forced the state archaeological service to slash staff numbers by more than 10%, with a further 35–50% reduction possible. Research and excavations are being abandoned. Museums that can no longer afford to pay for security are being plagued by armed robbers. And organized criminals are exploiting the chaos in an explosion of illegal digs and the trafficking of illicitly procured antiquities.

http://www.nature.com/news/cuts-leave-greek-heritage-in-ruins-1.10858