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Laodikeia's Western Theatre to be restored

A 2,200-year-old theatre located in the ancient Greek city of Laodikeia (Greek: Λαοδίκεια πρὸς τοῦ Λύκου; Latin: Laodicea ad Lycum) in the western Turkish province of Denizli will be restored with the support of the Denizli Metropolitan Municipality.

Laodikeia's Western Theatre to be restored
View of Laodikeia's Western Theatre [Credit: WikiCommons]
A team headed by Pamukkale University academic Professor Celal Şimşek has been carrying out excavations in the ancient city, which is on the UNESCO Temporary Cultural Heritage List.

The current target of the excavations, supported by the Denizli Metropolitan Municipality for 10 years, is to revive the Western Theatre, which was active during the Hellenistic and Roman eras.

The theatre, which was extensively damaged by earthquakes over the centuries, has a capacity of 15,000 people.

Located on the west of Laodikeia, where one of the seven holy churches of Asia Minor mentioned in the New Testament is located, the theatre has a view of the Pamukkale travertines.

Denizli Metropolitan Mayor Osman Zolan has recently signed a protocol with Şimşek to provide support for the restoration.

Within the scope of the protocol, signed in the ancient theatre, the restoration of the Western Theatre will be carried out by Şimşek and his team.

At the end of the two-year restoration project, the theatre will open its doors to culture and arts events.

Zolan said they had provided support for the ancient city for the past 10 years.

“The ancient city is very close to Denizli’s city centre. Our goal is to revive the Western Theatre. It will have the same function as it did 1,600 years ago. People will feel the history and view cultural events here after two years,” he added.

Laodikeia was a centre of culture, arts, trade and sports in the ancient era, Şimşek said.

“We will make it a living archaeology centre. This is why the support of local administrations is very important,” he added.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [March 23, 2018]


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