Ancient theater welcomes audiences
The 2,200-year-old theater in the ancient city of Laodicea, which is located in the western province of Denizli’s Pamukkale district and is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, has been restored with the support of the metropolitan municipality
At a ceremony held for the opening of the theater, it hosted a concert by the İzmir State Symphony Orchestra for the first time since 1690.
The head of the excavations, Professor Celal Şimşek, stated that the theater met with the artists and the public after the restoration works that started in 2019.
“We have been excavating in the ancient city since 2003. Laodicea was a big metropolitan city, and we wanted to give our country a gift in the 20th year of the excavation works. We have made a project with the metropolitan municipality. We have completed an unusually large, 12,000-person theater with a diameter of 96 meters in 2.5 years by restoring it above world standards. We remained true to its original structure up to 97 percent.”
“The İzmir Symphony Orchestra gave a concert in the theater, which was attended by approximately 12,000 people. The last time when there were artists and audiences in the theater was in the year 1690. The theater, which was built 2,200 years ago, welcomed the public again. Fifty tons of hydraulic lime, five tons of slaked lime, over 300 kilograms of lead, and over 350 kilograms of steel were used in its restoration. We have done the restoration in a very short time. We are proud to gain a monumental structure of world cultural heritage after thousands of years.”
Culture and Tourism Deputy Minister Ahmet Misbah Demircan also thanked those who contributed to the restoration of the theater, and said, “The ministry has two main issues. The first is to protect our tangible heritage. The tangible heritage is all these ancient cities, historical places and mounds. There are thousands of areas to be excavated all over Turkey. The center of this world is Anatolia. Everyone is very excited about such an important job.”