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1,600-yr-old mosaic looted from Byzantine church

A mosaic has been looted from a 1,600-year-old Byzantine church at a popular bay area of the Turkish resort town of Bodrum, sparking angry reactions from environmental advocacy groups amid rumors of tourism investment plans in the bay area.

1,600-yr-old mosaic looted from Byzantine church
A mosaic has been looted from a 1,600-year-old Byzantine church at a popular bay
 area of the Turkish resort town of Bodrum, sparking angry reactions from environmental
 advocacy groups amid rumors of tourism investment plans in the bay area 
[Credit: DHA]
The looting of historic artifacts from around Kisebükü Bay, a popular site for boat cruises in the Aegean Sea, has drawn criticism from more than 40 environmental rights groups and civil organizations, said Filiz Dizdar, a spokesperson for the Blue Route Initiative, an environmental advocacy group.

The Kisebükü Bay area was an urban site between 200 BC and 600 AD, founded by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasios. The ruins of a historic trading port, watch towers, two churches, two hamams, water tanks, and a centuries-old oil tree are still visible, Dizdar explained.

“Historic and cultural artifacts are being destroyed one by one. Unfortunately, nobody reacts to this. We’ve prevented the opening of construction [at the Kisebükü Bay area] by bringing the issue to court. The looting of this natural area with archeological importance should be stopped immediately,” Dizdar said.

Bodrum District mayoral advisor Özay Kartal said that historic buildings in the Kisebükü Bay area were being demolished one after another.

“It is totally intentional. They are laying the groundwork for natural destruction by looting the historic artifacts,” complained Kartal, advisor to Bodrum District Mayor Mehmet Kocadon.

“Here is a church well-known by captains of cruise boats,” he continued. “This church is a historic artifact that no one sees unless captains show their guests in and around it.”

“We couldn’t save the 1,600-year-old [mosaic], which has been protected from looting for 1,600 years” he added.

Source: DHA [October 21, 2015]
TANN

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