The modern management of moveable monuments
Every monument is unique: in terms of how it was created, its quality, its state of preservation, its position, its meaning, its date, and the information it provides us on the culture that produced it. Therefore, every monument requires special care. The care of a monument begins the minute it is searched for and found, and extends to its study, preservation and protection, and to its management and use. International organisations and agreements, as well as the Archaeological Law in force in our country determine the meaning, the content and, generally, the manner in which moveable and immoveable monuments should be managed, in an expression of co-ordinated effort for the complete protection, maintenance and display of monuments.
More specifically, Law No 3028/2002 'On the protection of antiquities and general cultural heritage' states in Article 3, '...The protection of the cultural heritage of the country entails: a) the location, research, recording, documentation and study of its elements; b) its preservation and the prevention of its destruction, denigration and, generally, all direct or indirect damage; c) the prevention of illegal excavation, theft and illegal export; d) its maintenance and restoration, as necessary; e) the facilitation of its access by and contact with the public; f) its display and inclusion into contemporary life and g) into education, aesthetic training and the sensitisation of the public to cultural heritage'.
Every manager is responsible for their care and proper management. The moveable remains, which come to light either as accidental finds, or are identified by the responsible authorities, or found and handed over by private individuals, are difficult cases to manage, as the evidence is fragmented and it is not possible to treat them as a whole with the environment in which they were likely found. They have often suffered damage, and it is not possible to connect them to other evidence that is found in an archaeological dig. On the contrary, moveable monuments that are discovered in excavations, either systematic or rescue, provide more information and the opportunity for a more careful study, documentation, use and choice of the manner in which they are managed.