An international meeting of more than 1,000 climbers, spectators and journalists scheduled for the famous rock formations of Meteora has been prohibited by The Greek Central Archaeological Council (KAS).
The event was the annual Petz Roctrip contest and was set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3 but won’t be allowed even though Greece has tried to expand tourism beyond beaches, islands and historic sites.
KAS officials told Kathimerini that organizers had failed to provide enough details about the contest’s rock climbing routes and the festival’s other cultural events.
Officials denied speculation that the decision was influenced by opposition to the gathering from the monastic community of Meteora, site of a James Bond film and a big attraction for visitors.
Built into and on top of huge pinnacles of smooth rock, the monasteries of Meteora are one of the most extraordinary sights in mainland Greece.
The KAS decision came under criticism from the centrist To Potami party.
“We have to make use of our land in a way that is beneficial for future generations, without prejudice and red tape getting in the way, but of course, always respectful of the natural beauty and history of the place,” the party said in a statement.
Two members of the party were scheduled to climb the Meteora rocks in a symbolic gesture against the decision.