Greece Hires Out Ancient Ruins to Raise Cash
The Acropolis, the temple of Delphi, and Parthenon going for $2,070 a day
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2012 4:43 PM CST
Fireworks explode over Acropolis Hill with the Parthenon temple during the New Year's celebrations in Athens, on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
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(Newser) – Debt-stricken Greece is taking an unprecedented step and exploiting its own magnificent history to raise cash and help its crippled economy. The Guardian reports that Greece is offering up its architectural masterpieces, including the Acropolis, the temple of Delphi, and the Parthenon, as backdrops for movies, commercials, and photo shoots—for $2,070 a day. The culture minister promises to be selective, but the plan is still controversial as the sites are considered sacred cultural landmarks.

The European Union and International Monetary Fund are pressuring Greece to capitalize on the millennia-old structures. The 2,500-year-old Acropolis has been rented out only twice for such ventures, to Francis Ford Coppola and for a sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding. All of the revenues will fund the Greek Ministry of Culture, whose budget has been slashed 30% since 2010.