An eight-metre fissure was discovered in the wall of the Venetian harbour of Rethymnon – a harbour that is most visitors’ first sight of the city, and the inhabitants’ pride. Now it is at risk.
“The first course of stones on the side facing the sea has gone, and now major works are absolutely necessary to protect the Venetian harbour,” says the President of the Port Fund, Mr Manolis Litinas. “Time is of the essence to avoid further damage, but the study has to be approved by the Archaeological Service.”
The President of the Port Fund noted that, “we will try to have the damage repaired before the start of the tourist season, otherwise there is a danger that more stones might fall away along with a large section of the harbour wall. Apart from that, the situation will cause safety problems for visitors and local alike, while the monument itself is in serious danger.”
Despite Mr Litinas’ reassurances that there is currently no cause for concern for the safety of passers-by and local shopkeepers, some people are expressing serious doubts, while Mr Litinas himself is talking about a serious study which must begin immediately with the help of all the relevant public bodies.
Shopkeepers in the harbour area are up in arms about the image presented by the harbour -neglected for decades, as they say – and also about the start of the tourist season, as they will have to shut up shop during the restoration work.