Heracles relief suffers damage
BURSA – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoThe right arm of a Heracles relief in an ancient quarry in the northwestern province of Bursa’s İznik district has suffered damage due to the agricultural industry in the area, according to cultural specialists.
The area of the human-size Heracles relief, which is carved into a rock in the Deliklitaş area, eight kilometers from İznik, was declared a protected area by the Council of Monuments in 1990. The left arm of the relief was already broken when the object was discovered.
Now, however, salty and chemical waste from olive processing in the area are also damaging the relief.
Taylan Sevil, who worked as a museum director in İznik for 12 years, said the natural rock area of the Heracles relief had served as a quarry in ancient times and that the stones used on the city walls around İznik were brought from there.
He said the area was taken under protection in 1990 after the relief was found.
“The relief is believed to have been made to protect quarry workers. In the relief, Heracles has his crook in his right hand and a seven-headed snake in his left hand. It is one of the artifacts that should be taken under protection,” he said.
Sevil also added said İznik was like an open-air museum that was under threat from treasure hunters. “If security forces watch this region from time to time, this may scare them off,” he said.