Ministry takes measures to protect artifacts from quakes

Ministry takes measures to protect artifacts from quakes

Umut Erdem - HATAY
Ministry takes measures to protect artifacts from quakes

The Culture and Tourism Ministry is taking nessecary steps to secure and protect artifacts in the southern province of Hatay’s archaeological museum, including the masterpiece statue of the Hittite King II Suppiluliuma, from quakes and aftershocks that continue days after the deadly Feb. 6 quakes.

Though the statue of King II Suppiluliuma, the last monarch of the Hittite Empire’s New Kingdom, survived Feb. 6’s quakes without damage, experts covered the statue weighing 1.5 tons with small sandbags out of concern over the ongoing tremors and aftershocks in the city.

In addition to the sandbags, the statue was also surrounded with steel profiles, providing a cage-like protection.

The statue of Hittite King II Suppiluliuma, which dates to the late Hittite period in the ninth century B.C., was found in 2013 as archaeologists were excavating the Tell Tayinat mound in Hatay’s Reyhanlı district.

Measures were also taken for the Arsuz Steles, as well as other similar artifacts, at the Hatay Archaeological Museum.

While the supporting columns of the museum were found to be in good condition, the walls sustained some damage.

Following the earthquakes, the Culture and Tourism Ministry, in line with its emergency action plan, made a comprehensive personnel reinforcement to the Hatay Archaeology Museum.

Meanwhile several artifacts from the Kahramanmaraş Museum, the damaged Elbistan Museum, the Necmi Asfurolu Archaeology Museum, and the City Museum in Hatay have been moved to secure museums in the nearby cities as damage assessments of cultural properties in 10 quake-affected cities continue.

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