Yesterday, Monday, July 18, 2022, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, and the CEO of Hellenic Public Properties Company (HPPC), Stefanos D. Vlastos, visited the Bourtzi fortress and held an on-site meeting there.
During the visit, it was confirmed that the highly important work to restore the landmark Bourtzi complex which is owned by HPPC has been completed. This work was carried out under the relevant Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and HPPC and as part of a project with a budget of over 2,781,000 euros which was implemented by the Ministry of Culture with NSRF financial resources.
During the meeting, the process for managing and utilising the space was examined. The Ministry of Culture will use part of the complex as an exhibition space, and HPPC will use the remaining part in line with the experience and knowledge the Company has in managing, developing and operating cultural sites to promote them as tourist destinations and to enhance the economic development of local society.
According to HPPC’s schedule, the aim is to pilot the new uses in the coming period, and by the end of 2022 an open tender is expected to be nnounced for the lease of a high- standard catering establishment on the island, so that the monument will be ready to welcome its visitors with the best hospitality in the next tourist season.
During the visit, the Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni stated:
«The Ministry of Culture and Sports is implementing projects in archaeological sites, monuments and museum infrastructures in Argolis with a budget of over 18,000,000 euros which is coming either from the current NSRF 2014-2020 or from national resources of the Ministry of Culture. The aim of our visit to the Bourtzi was to initiate the process whereby this perfectly restored monument will be given to the people of Nafplion and to the visitors to the city. It is a project that confirms that the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Archaeological Service can carry out high quality projects. The Bourtzi will be a fully functional and accessible monument and a high-quality development resource for Nafplio and the Argolis».
For his part, the CEO of HPPC, Stefanos D. Vlastos, made the following statement:
«Today is a special and important day, as the restoration works at the emblematic Bourtzi have been completed, marking HPPC and the Ministry of Culture’s use of the complex with a focus on highlighting its cultural heritage and developing tourism in Nafplio and Argolis. HPPC has many years’ experience in operating cultural spaces. It is ready to utilize this monument as well, dedicating it to the local community and to Greek and foreign visitors. I would like to congratulate the Minister, the services of the Ministry and all the local bodies involved for the successful implementation of the project and to thank them for their kind cooperation. We believe that, with the appropriate synergies, culture can be turned into an engine of development for the country and, as a Hellenic Public Properties Company we will do our best to maximize the value of our iconic properties for the benefit of all citizens».
A few words about the fortress complex on Bourtzi:
The Bourtzi sea fortress is the small islet in front of the port at Nafplion. The Fortress was built by the Venetians after the departure of Mahmud Pasha in 1473. The Venetians built a very powerful Tower and bastions with cannons on the island, creating the well-known Fortress which today dominates the entrance to the port of Nafplion. The Bourtzi played an important role during the sieges of the city during its long history, and especially during the Greek struggle for independence. When the Tourism Organization was created, the sea fort was restored in the 1930s at the expense of the private citizen and future lessor and manager, Panagiotis (Takis) Kostouros. This transformed the fort into one of the first noteworthy First Class tourist centres in Greece. Since 1970 it has been operating as a tourist attraction.