Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

Destroying Antiquities “for the Benefit of the Living”

There is a number of cases where the destruction of antiquities is performed with the consent of archaeologists or the services to which their protection has been entrusted. This contradiction has a long history. One of the factors that badly affected the issue were the building and reconstruction permits, issued on the occasion of past Olympic Games in Athens. Among the most striking examples is the restoration of the Panathenaic Stadium for the Games of 1896 and the erection of the Zappeion Mansion for the Olympia of 1874. In the first case the possibility for excavation research, which could probably clarify the earlier building phases of the edifice was sacrificed. As a result a stadium was built, the form of which did not correspond to the known architecture of antiquity. In the second case a Roman bath was permanently covered with earth, before even it was studied, and thus its total extent and its relation to the other buildings of the city remained unknown forever. In conclusion, the arguments expressed between supporters and opponents on the issue of the destruction of antiquities did not succeed to shape an effective theoretical basis for handling this problem.