Yumurtalık locals asks mosaics back
ADANACivil society organizations and locals have reacted against the moving of mosaics to a new museum in the city center.
Four important mosaics have been unearthed in recent years in the southern province of Adana’s Yumurtalık, where the harbor of the ancient city of Aigai is located from the fourth century B.C. Following their examination by archaeologists, the mosaics were taken from their place and moved to the newly established Adana Museum Complex. Locals and NGO representatives have asked for the mosaics to be displayed in their original place.
Yumurtalık Red Crescent President Fethi Beşlioğlu said they want the establishment of an open-air museum in Yumurtalık. “History has value in its place. If you were to move Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia to the Adana Museum, you would see that it would become meaningless. It is the same if history here is moved to the city center. Let our artifacts remain in their place,” he said.
Head of Yumurtalık District Governors Association Aynur Gökalp said Yumurtalık has sea on one side and green landscape on the other.
“Let’s do what we need to do. Let’s organize a protest if necessary but we need to protect our district. Regardless of any political party, let’s work hand-in-hand to protect our own museum,” she said.
Municipality’s opportunities limited
Yumurtalık Mayor Türkeş Filik said Yumurtalık has been home to various civilizations.
“Yumurtalık is found along the Silk Road and is where the first organ transplant was done. Its historical areas should be evaluated. The municipality has limited opportunities. We are unable to protect our historical richness. We have very nice places inside the castle. If we give these places to our artisans, they will protect them and earn money at the same time. When we ignore these places, they turn into a dump. I want to call out to the officials; we should not abandon these historical places in order to protect them. The mosaics found here have been taken to the Adana Museum based on a decision by the Board of Protection. We want them to be displayed in their own place in an open-air museum so they will draw tourists and locals can make use of them. I believe it will contribute to the promotion of Yumurtalık,” he said.
The most recent mosaic, which has been discovered in a Roman-era bath used by the wealthy, was a Poseidon mosaic. The mosaic has been covered and excavation works have been stopped.