'Kitchen renos' at ancient theater of Aspendos provoke incredulity

'Kitchen renos' at ancient theater of Aspendos provoke incredulity

ANTALYA – Doğan News Agency
Kitchen renos at ancient theater of Aspendos provoke incredulity

DHA photo

Recent restoration work at the historical amphitheater of Aspendos has sparked outrage among tourists and cultural associations, as white marble has been used on the ancient site’s stairs and seats rather than stones of the original texture and color.

The new design, which is reminiscent of the marble widely used in kitchens, in contrast to the dark grey original texture of the historical monument, has raised debate ahead of the upcoming G-20 summit of world leaders in Belek. The leaders’ program will include a visit to Aspendos by the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as concerts in the ancient theater.

The ancient theater has been closed to public for restoration for most of 2015.

Recep Yavuz, a tourism official for Antalya Municipality, declared the restoration a “disaster” and said the city had been subjected to “nonsensical and confusing” restoration works that do not reflect the history of the respective areas.

Noting that Aspendos had been a candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage List and was one of the most important cultural artifacts in the world, Yavuz said restoration works should normally not be noticed by people or only recognized from a short distance.

A tour guide in the region, Alper Erpolat, said tourists had been criticizing the new appearance of Aspendos and that the first reaction of tourists had been to suggest that the amphitheater appeared poorly in photos.