Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Delos relics to be rescued, restored with EU funding

Source: ekathimerini

The House of the Lake and the House of the Diadoumenos, which are both in the ancient sanctuary of Delos, are expected to be restored and maintained through a project funded by the EU’s Third Community Support Framework and managed by the Central Archaeological Council. The two relics have been ravaged by nature and neglect.


Two monuments at the archaeological site of Delos in the Cyclades will be restored and maintained with European Union money, after the Greek Central Archaeological Council (KAS) approved two studies for the relics’ upkeep earlier this summer.

Delos, which mythology says is the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo, is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the Cyclades.

The project will be funded by the EU’s Third Community Support Framework (CSFIII) and will focus on repairing damage caused by bad weather and a lack of maintenance.

The two monuments of the ancient sanctuary, the House of the Diadoumenos and the peristyle of the House of the Lake, date to the 2nd century BC and were destroyed in 88 BC, during the Mithridates Wars. The so-called Diadoumenos House is at the northern end of the site, northwest of the lake. It is an impressive complex which consists of rooms facing a central atrium. The atrium used to have a mosaic floor, under which two cisterns existed - the smaller one was a well.

The studies that were carried out revealed structural problems, including issues with the walls, parts of which have collapsed into one of the two cisterns.

Experts also detected some damage - limited, fortunately - due to the overgrowth of vegetation. Damage has also been caused by archaeological excavations.

Humidity, strong winds and a lack of any upkeep have caused bits of plaster to fall into the structures. KAS approved the initial studies and it is now hoped that experts will seriously tackle Delos, since the two monuments are now on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list.

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