In a bid to attract foreign shoots, Greece is lowering rates on monuments including the Acropolis, as well as trying to cut red tape.

Greece’s culture and tourism ministry is lowering its rates for shooting at ancient monuments including the Acropolis, in a bid to encourage foreign productions to come and shoot in Athens.

The Acropolis is not for sale, as was reported in the press earlier in the year, but it is amongst the monuments that has had its shooting rates slashed. Daily shooting rates at the Acropolis and other sites including Delphi, Ancient Olympia, the temple of Poseidon, the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, Knosos in Crete have have been reduced from 6000 to 1600 Euros. On top of that there will be a charge of Euros 100 per second in all scenes where those sites appear in the final cut.

Culture minister Pavlos Geroulanos has also promised to reduce the red tape which currently exists around the central archeological council (KAS), which grants permission to shoot.

However, Geroulanos made clear that permission to shoot at those sites would not be automatic, with the subject matter of the productions to be carefully considered. “We may need money but by no means we intend to convert Acropolis to Disneyland,” said Geroulanos.

In an effort to attract foreign shoots in Athens, the municipality has also announced the creation of the Athens Film Office.

Red tape, the understaffed Greek Film Commission and the lack of clearly established guidelines by KAS for granting permission have been seen as the principal barriers discouraging foreign productions from shooting in archeological sites in the country.

Reportedly, the Jean Luc Godard production Film Socialisme chose not to shoot in an ancient theatre in Athens in 2010 due to the red tape involved.

Before that Francis Ford Coppola had to lobby hard with the culture ministry before obtaining the green light for shooting on the Acropolis a sequence of his Life Without Zoe episode in New York Stories (1989).

Set to be replaced after next April’s elections, Geroulanos’ initiatives have included the decision to financially back the restoration of the historical Athens down town cinema theatres Attikon and Apollon severely affected by fire during the riots in the capital earlier this month, as well as the creation of a Theo Angelopoulos award to be granted in memory of the late director, at the November Thessaloniki international film festival.