Greece briefly shuts Acropolis site to shield tourists from heatwave

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Greece will shut the ancient Acropolis for a few hours on Friday to protect visitors to one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites from a heatwave enveloping Athens and other countries in southern Europe.

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The Acropolis Hill, home to the Parthenon temple that is visited by millions of tourists every year, will be closed from noon to 5 p.m. (0900 GMT-1400 GMT) on Friday, authorities said.

Greece’s meteorological service forecast temperatures peaking at 41 Celsius (105.8 Fahrenheit) in Athens by midday, but the mercury on the Acropolis Hill that overlooks the Greek capital is usually higher due to its altitude and lack of shade.

Hellenic Red Cross workers handed out bottles of water to tourists forming long queues, and fanning themselves under the shade of olive trees before the Acrop-olis entrance, before the famed monument was temporarily closed.

Southern Europe is sweltering under a fierce heatwave, with a warning that tem-peratures could hit record highs for the continent next week, raising fears about the impact on human health, crops and animals.

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