Lycia Museum construction stops

Lycia Museum construction stops

ANTALYA - Anadolu Agency
Lycia Museum construction stops

The museum is under construction in the Roman granary in the Lycian coastal town of Andriake. But the construction was stopped on July 1 over a dispute about payments. DHA photos

The Lycia Museum construction and restoration project, which was initiated last year in the southern province of Antalya’s Demre district, was stopped when the progress payments were not made to the construction company. The museum is under construction in the Roman granary in the Lycian coastal town of Andriake, port of the ancient city and trade agora of Myra.

The construction of the museum was put out to tender on Sept. 25, 2012 and the Karacan Group got the tender for 8.36 million Turkish Liras. The museum was set to open on Nov. 25, 2013, and so far 60 percent of the museum construction has been done. The construction company, which received 27 percent the progress payments, wrote a letter to the Culture and Tourism Ministry to get the rest of the payment. When the payment was not made, the company stopped the construction on July 1 on the grounds that the ministry had not complied with the terms and conditions.

It was reported that the ministry did not make the payment because it had begun to reevaluate the work done so far by the company. The company, which completed the environmental arrangement, covered the roof and did 80 percent of other work, said it had gotten into difficulty because payments were not made on time and stopped the work.

While the construction of the Lycia Museum has been stopped, the Myra-Andriake ancient city excavations that have been continuing in the region for four years have not yet started. The head of the excavations, Akdeniz University member Professor Nevzat Çelik, said the ministry had not given permission yet for the excavations.

Following these developments, the Culture and Tourism Ministry deputy undersecretary Ali Şahin, cultural artifacts and museums general director Abdullah Kocapınar, investments and operations general director Adnan Aslan, Antalya Museum director Mustafa Demirel and other relevant officials recently went to Demre to make observations at the ancient sites of Myra and Andriake and the St. Nicolas Museum. Çevik and the owner of Karacan Group, Nazif Karacan, accompanied the committee.

The ministry reported that the company had been given a 1.2 million-lira progress payment for the year 2012 despite the fact that it had finished only electricity work of 40,000 liras by the end of 2012. And it was also claimed that the company was paid a 600,000-lira progress payment even though it had not finished work properly in 2013. The Culture and Tourism Ministry has started an investigation into the claims.

The museum project

As part of the project, a granary will be turned into a museum for the first time in Turkey. The Hadrian granary, which dates back to the Roman period in Andriake, will be the enclosed portion of the Lycian Museum. The granary, which was one of the largest in the Roman period, was constructed in 126 A.D. and is made up of seven rooms, each of which is 65 meters in length and 32 meters wide.

The museum will include displays on Lycian culture, accessories, the life of St. Nicholas, the early era of Christianity, second century pier management and how people at the time lived and survived. The museum will be organized within a thematic display.

In one area of the museum, reflections on Lycian artworks will be interpreted by modern day artists.
The new structures that will be revealed in the trade agora and the Andriake port city will be the open-air sections of the museum, where the region’s artifacts will be displayed.

Myra was a leading city of the Lycian League and surpassed Xanthos in early Byzantine times to become the capital city of Lycia. Its remains are situated about 1.5 kilometers north of today’s Demre, on the Kaş-Finike road. Most of the ancient city is now covered by Demre and alluvial silts.