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September 22, 2017

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Ancient Greek town reopens after tragedy

ATHENS--One of Greece's most famous archaeological sites, the prehistoric town of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini, reopened on Wednesday seven years after a deadly roof collapse, local authorities said.

"The archaeological site is open to the public as of this morning," the office of local mayor Nikolaos Zorzos said in a statement.

Akrotiri was closed in 2005 after a roof erected to protect antiquities collapsed, killing a British tourist and injuring others.

It was originally set to reopen last year after repair works to install a reinforced canopy.

The settlement was one of the most important of its era in the entire Aegean Sea.

Habitation began in the late Stone Age in the 4th millennium B.C. and it gradually developed into an urban center with multistoried buildings with magnificent wall paintings and an elaborate drainage system.

The town was abandoned after a series of earthquakes in the late 17th century B.C. A volcanic eruption that followed wiped out the island's Minoan colony but the residue helped preserve the buildings of Akrotiri, as it did in Pompeii in Italy.

Santorini, renowned for its beautiful sunsets and picturesque villages perched on rocky outcrops, is one of Greece's most popular travel destinations.

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