ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Aerial photos showing the roof of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar have revealed the level of risk for the roof of the historic site, which was further damaged by heavy rains last week.
Cracks that emerged two years ago on the roof of the 553-year-old bazaar were reportedly enlarged following the downpour that hit Istanbul last week. Some of the roof arches have had to be reinforced with steel supports due to apparent the risk of collapse.
The roof’s damage is also exacerbated by the water tanks, air conditioning units and satellite dishes that are placed on it, as well as the people who climb up to conduct repair works on these items.
Back in 2012, the roof of the Grand Bazaar hosted a motorcycle chase action scene in the James Bond movie “Skyfall,” triggering concerns about possible damage. During shooting, a 400-year-old wooden building in the bazaar was damaged when the motorcycles that were passing in front of a jewelry shop missed the corner and hit it.
Fatih Municipality announced in March that the historic bazaar would undergo a full restoration, costing a total of 200,000,000 Turkish liras.
The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 22 gates, 64 paths and 3,600 shops. It is one of the most recognizable and popular tourist attractions on Istanbul’s historic peninsula, attracting between 300,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.