Campaign launched to remove stage built on ancient palace in Istanbul
İdris Emen - ISTANBUL
Archeologists have launched a campaign demanding the dismantling of a performance stage built on the ruins of the ancient Palace of Lausos in Istanbul’s touristic Sultanahmet neighborhood.
The palace, which was built in the fifth century, is now part of the Mehmet Akif Ersoy Park. It was unearthed in the early 1950s during the construction work of a courthouse.
The Fatih Municipality developed a performance stage on the ruins of the palace to be used in social activities.
According to Yiğit Ozar, the head of the Istanbul branch of the Archeologists’ Association, the Cultural and Natural Heritage Conservation Board has ruled seven times for the dismantling of the stage, but the Fatih Municipality has not complied with the board’s decision.
When it emerged that the municipality did not seek a permission to build the stage, the conservation board called for the removal of the construction back in 2010 and has repeated its calls over the years. The board warned the municipality in May this year for the last time.
However, despite repeated calls from the conservation board, the Fatih Municipality has not taken any action.
As the municipality chose to defy the calls, the Istanbul branch of the Archeologists’ Association has launched a campaign, dubbed “let the Palace of Lausos be free.”
The association also took the campaign to social media to make its voice heard.
In a statement posted on its website, the association’s Istanbul branch said: “The municipalities, all legal entities and individuals should comply with the decision of the conservation board.”
The association called on people to apply to the Communications Center of the Presidency (CİMER) to demand the removal of the stage and make the Palace of Lausos a public space.