Presentation of our activities and plans (June 2024)

The non-profit organisation “Paros Ancient Marble Quarries Park” was established in 2022, at the initiative of six local associations, with the aim to promote and support the protection of the ancient marble quarries in Marathi and the creation of an archaeological and cultural park. It is managed by a 7-member board and works closely with the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Paros, with the active involvement of the local community. Its activities and plans were presented and discussed at its General Assembly on 8 June 2024 and are summarised below.

Recognising that the stability of the underground galleries is of the utmost importance, the organisation has proposed and supported a 3-D digital survey and geological investigation of the galleries carried out by the Engineering Geology & Geohazards Group of Athens Polytechnic with funding from the Ministry of Culture. It has subsequently commissioned a specialist consultancy project on measures required to ensure the stability and accessibility of the quarries, financed through a grant from the Cycladic Identity initiative of the Museum of Cycladic Art.

Risk assessment of nymphs

Improving visitors’ experience and raising awareness of the archaeological value and cultural heritage of the quarries is also hugely important. A key improvement was the design and installation of information boards and directional signage throughout the archaeological area, implemented by the organisation with financial support from many local businesses, residents and friends of Paros. It has also created this substantial website –, organised public information events and free visits to the archaeological area in Marathi, and talks in the schools of the island.

The ownership of the site presents a challenge. The site comprises several private ownerships and the non-profit organisation is taking steps to facilitate the transfer to public ownership of two important plots of land to enable key projects to proceed. The first involves a recently signed provisional agreement for the purchase of the plot that contains the entrances of the Nymphs’ quarry. The second involves legal support for the preparatory work regarding the gifting of the plot that contains the entrance of the Pan’s quarry to the Paros Municipality by its owner.

Elaborating a Master Plan to provide strategic guidance for the development of the archaeological and cultural park has been a priority of the non-profit organisation from the beginning and requires the direct involvement of several services of the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Paros. To advance on this front, the organisation has carried out preliminary research, drafted the terms of reference for the plan and signed a Protocol of Cooperation with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades.

Looking to the future, the organisation continues to accord priority to the protection of the monument, the resolution of the ownership of the site, and the development of the master plan for the Park. It will also be seeking the necessary financial resources for the realisation of projects on the ground, such as: improvements to the entrances of the Nymphs’ and Pan’s quarries, improvements to the network of pedestrian routes, and a temporary visitors’ centre (info kiosk).

In parallel, it will support: the monitoring of high risk sections in the galleries, the applied studies on improving the stability of parts of the underground galleries and the 19th c. winch stations near the Nymphs’ quarry which are at risk of collapsing, the management of the river bed of the historic Skarpathiotis River which transverses the site, research to locate the remaining underground quarries within the site, as well as the digital promotion of the ancient quarries (virtual reality visits, ancient methods of marble quarrying etc).