Turkey's Culture Ministry defends restoration at Aspendos

Turkey's Culture Ministry defends restoration at Aspendos

ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
Turkeys Culture Ministry defends restoration at Aspendos

DHA photo

White marble stones that were used in the renovation of the ancient amphitheater of Aspendos to great disdain due to their discordance with the original stones will ultimately blend in with their surroundings, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

Tourists and cultural associations had lamented the renovation after smooth white marble stones were installed at the amphitheater as part of a restoration, jarring with the 2,000-year-old gray and rough stones that were already present.

The ministry said samples from the original stones at the amphitheater had been taken and that limestone with the color “Korkuteli beige” was used for the restoration because it was determined to possess the closest properties to the original stones. 

The statement added that the stones used for the restoration would – in time and with the effect of the weather and natural conditions – form patina and take the same color as the original stones. It added that the original stones had acquired their current color and texture with environmental effects, such as rain and wind, over 2,000 years. 

Stating that the missing parts of the “cavea,” the place where members of the audience sit at the amphitheater, were to be completed as part of the restoration project, the statement said the implementation of the restoration works were conducted under the supervision of the Antalya Directorate of Surveying and Monuments. 

Thus, samples from multiple quarries in different regions were taken and a comparison was made to find the best suiting stone with the originals of the construction, it added. 

The ministry’s statement said the restoration works on the amphitheater were conducted in line with the surveying, restoration, restitution, statics and electric projects that were approved by the Antalya Cultural Property Protection Area Board.  

The new design, which is reminiscent of the marble widely used in kitchens, raised debate ahead of a G-20 summit of world leaders in Belek, which 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.