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Expropriation works almost completed for theatre of ancient Smyrna

A Graeco-Roman theatre, stuck in between shanty towns in the Turkish province of İzmir (Greek Smyrna), is being expropriated for nearly 12 million Turkish liras with plans to unearth its fascinating 16,000-person capacity.

Expropriation works almost completed for theatre of ancient Smyrna

The province’s municipality has so far paid 11.889 million liras for expropriation works to resurface the ancient theatre.

The decision to expropriate has been made by the municipality over 164 parcels on an area of 12,974 square metres. So far, the municipality has purchased the land title over an area of 11,894 square metres.

Archaeological works to unearth the theatre are being carried out within a protocol between the municipality and the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Works have been put on hold for some time but will commence again soon.

As part of the project, an archaeological surface survey has been made to confirm the exact place of the architectural ruins of the theatre and its walls.

The project on the extension of the ancient theatre in the Kadifekale first degree archaeological site has been proposed to the Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board.

A 1/1000 scaled development plan has been included in the seventh Five-Year Development Program for the expropriation in the field of the ancient theatre.

Upon the decision, the way for the expropriation was paved and two meetings have been held to inform and create discussions among locals living in the district.

The most comprehensive information about the ancient theatre can be obtained from the plans, drawings and studies of Austrian architects and archaeologists Otto Berg and Otto Walter, who conducted research in the region in 1917 and 1918. According to their reports, the remains of the theatre are typical of the Roman era.

After works are completed, the site will be accessible for those visiting the Konak, Alsancak, Karşıyaka and Bornova districts of the province. The renovated theatre will host shows and concerts like the ancient theatre of Ephesus.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [January 25, 2017]

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