Greece’s culture minister said the archaeological site of Mycenae has not been damaged by a wildfire that swept through the area, despite blackening the entrance to the ancient citadel.
Four water-dropping planes and two helicopters helped dozens of firefighters contain the blaze at the edge of one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites, some 75 miles south-west of Athens.
The Bronze Age fortress city flourished centuries before the major Acropolis monuments were built in Athens and was a major centre of Mediterranean civilisation.
Flames blackened the 3,250-year-old stone-built Lion Gate, the entrance to the ancient city.
“The damage caused by yesterday’s fire was the least possible,” culture minister Lina Mendoni said during a visit to the site.
“The fire service acted swiftly… and prevention measures worked: Dry vegetation had all been cleared away. That’s what saved the monuments.”