Restoration of north wall of Athens Acropolis to begin
Greece's Central Archaeological Council has approved a proposal for restoring sections of the north wall surrounding the Athens Acropolis, which need repairs for safety and structural reasons. A decision on a second, more controversial plan, is still pending after members raised objections during a meeting on Tuesday.
There is also the upper part of the Classical-era wall from the Themistocles era and signs of carving on the inner side that provide evidence of an Erechtheum courtyard, only traces of which remain.
The problems are chiefly due to erosion and rusting of iron supports used during restoration work by Nikolaos Balanos in the early 20th century, while cement used to hold up eroded parts made the situation worse. The proposals approved aim to restore this section to ensure both structural integrity and aesthetic improvements.
This met with objections, with the head of the Cyclades Antiquities Ephorate Dimitris Athanasoulis pointing out that the process was irreversible, that the medieval section was also an antiquity and that the proposal essentially called for the construction of a "21st century wall" without full knowledge of the way the original was built. Other suggestions called for the reconstruction of only the lower eight layers of the Classical-era wall that remain, leaving the Medieval one intact.
"Athens was one of the most important medieval cities in the world and there is nothing left. The only traces of it are in the walls. If we rip them up from there as well that would be a crime," Athanasoulis told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).
The Council decided that there should be an on-the-spot inspection of the site by its members and that the matter should be discussed again, with consultation of the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Antiquities services and agencies.
Source: ANA-MPA [September 21, 2016]