A very special project for the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

A very special project for the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

I attended a banquet the other evening within the framework of the Bodrum International Mausoleum Workshop held in Bodrum, in the southwestern province of Muğla. The talk of the evening was the restitution project of King Mausolus’ tomb that is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The restitution project will be conducted in line with the concepts of contemporary museology.

The event was organized by the Mediterranean Countries Academy Foundation, which was established in 1993 and is headed by Özay Kartal. Some major parts of this unique historic mausoleum are on exhibit at the British Museum in London. Now, the restitution of King Mausolus’ tomb will be done using high technology. The restitution project is supported by the Tourism and Culture Ministry. 

The mausoleum will be built as a glass and aluminum construction while staying true to its original. I saw some of the three-dimensional images and I liked them very much. If this project is built, Bodrum will have gain value added.

Poul Pedersen, a professor from the University of Southern Denmark who has acted as deputy head of the excavation works and who has directed the Danish team, visited and was briefed.  

Imagine that we have hundreds of similar historic places in Anatolia. Unfortunately, pieces taken from these places are showcased in several museums in Europe as their best pieces. 

I absolutely support this project because an awareness of history can only be raised if we support such projects. 

Kartal, the head of the foundation, explained that the mausoleum built for King Mausolus in 353 B.C. was a unique structure that has remained unprecedented for its technology, craftsmanship, materials and art. The tomb was partially destroyed by the big Anatolia earthquake in 1304. At the beginning of the 16th century, some of the pieces of the mausoleum were used in the building of Bodrum Caste. At the beginning of the 19th century, several valuable pieces excavated from here were taken to the United Kingdom.  

The re-construction of the mausoleum in place at its original size with light metals and glass is a project that has been suggested by Danish Professors Kristian Jeppesen and Professor-Architect Johannes Exner. The foundation has made all the technical drawings and three-dimensional images. 

Of course it takes time to bring such projects to fruition, but even beginning is as important as ending. 
Bodrum Mayor Mehmet Kocadon said one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the mausoleum, represents love and power. “Our power comes from such buildings, from the past. For this reason, these beautiful pieces that are examples of world heritage should be exhibited; they should be erected as soon as possible. … We will always support this project.”

For many years, Kocadon has participated in tourism fairs to raise awareness of the brand Bodrum. The resort district is one of those unique places in Turkey that has distinguishing features; it can attract both domestic and international tourists. It has a long season due to this. There is a substantial winter population in Bodrum now. 

The town also hosts many art festivals. I think it is time for them to be international, like those in Italy and Spain. Each year, millions of tourists visit these countries for arts and culture events.
Bodrum has such an opportunity. For this reason, I strongly support the restitution of King Mausolus’ tomb, the Halicarnassus Mausoleum.