The Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments (ESMA) is an interdisciplinary committee of the Ministry of Culture that was established in 1975. On the basis of Article 95 of the presidential edict 941/1977 and the presidential edict 97/99, the responsibilities of the Committee comprise programming, directing and supervising the works being carried out on the Acropolis rock. The members of the ESMA are eight specialists, scholars of recognized standing – architects, archaeologists, civil engineers and chemical engineers – appointed by the Ministry of Culture. Likewise participating in the work of the ESMA are the directors of the Direction of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, the Direction of the Restoration of Ancient Monuments, the Direction of the Anastelosis of Ancient Monuments, the Direction of the Conservation of Antiquities and of the 1st Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture.
The ESMA is an advisory body whose decisions are submitted for approval to the Central Archaeological Council and the Minister of Culture. Its members hold a meeting at least twice a month, in which the Director of the YSMA participates as proposer, without voting rights. There is a specific procedure for the approval of studies and the performing of works on the Acropolis monuments, which comprises the following:
- Programming the work, dividing it into programmes and allotting the work to the YSMA personnel, following proposal by the Director of the YSMA
- Writing of the Study by the researcher responsible
- Approval of the Study by the ESMA
- Presentation of the Study to the Central Archaeological Council, to which it is proposed by the President of the ESMA
- Decision by the Minister on approval of the Study, based on the opinion given by the Central Archaeological Council
- Carrying out of the Study
The responsibilities of the ESMA also include the sequencing of the various interventions needed within the framework of the broader programme of restoration, the approval of expenditure proposed by the work sections of the YSMA and the approval of the employment of personnel according to the requirements of the work. A most significant aim of the Committee is always the carrying out of the works on the basis of the Charter of Venice (1964). The securing of transparency in each stage of the intervention, by publicizing and by making the works available for criticism by the international scholarly world, reduces the possibility of error and ensures the high quality of both programming and execution of the Acropolis works.