Restoration of 2,500-year-old Serpent Column starts
Within the scope of the work that is expected to last for a month, cracks on the column will be fixed and the painting will be cleaned.
“This is the most important artwork made of bronze in Istanbul,” İrem Bülbül, deputy director of the municipality’s Cultural and Social Affairs Department, told Demirören News Agency.
The Serpent Column is one of the three remaining monuments of the hippodrome of Constantinople, which was once the capital of the Byzantine Empire. It was erected in 478 B.C. and dedicated to the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi by the Greeks after their victory over the Persians in the Battle of Plataea.
The bronze monument consists of three snakes twisting around each other to form the column shaft.
Originally the snakes had heads with bronze tongues between their open jaws, and their hollow eyes once had glass inlay.
“The heads of the snakes were chopped off in the 17th century. The upper jaw of one of the heads was found in an excavation in the 19th century. It is now exhibited in Istanbul’s Archaeology Museum,” Bülbül noted.
The original green color of the column will be preserved, she added.
Nazım Can Cihan, another official from the metropolitan municipality, said the restoration crew consisted of 10 experts.