The Central Archaeological Council unanimously approved the continuation of studies and works of conserving and restoring the koilon (auditorium) of the Ancient Theatre of Dodona, approving preliminary studies both of the Theatre’s middle koilon and the conservation and restoration of the A diazoma.

The drawing up of the study framework of the middle koilon was based on evaluation of the restoration works on the lower koilon, on experience gained during the twenty years of involvement with the monument, on systematic observation, documentation and recording of the evolution of the Theatre’s pathology. This process sets the limits of the project’s scope, the prioritization of the works, and a programme of additional research and studies that may be required. “Time” and “damage” were the critical factors influencing the proposal to extend the work on the middle koilon.

The object of the preliminary study is the restoration of the entire A diazoma according to the principles and the approved methodology already applied for the restoration of the lower koilon, and the updating of the approved final study concerning the area of seating units 1 and 2. Detailed on-site measurements are also being utilized and a database created for each architectural member by studying their original position and the removal of those incorrectly placed.

Following the unanimous approval by the Central Archaeological Council, Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni stated: “The Sanctuary of Ancient Dodona is one of the most interesting and important archaeological sites. The ongoing project, included in the Operational Programme ‘Epirus 2014-2020’ with a budget of €5 million, is an integral part of interventions carried out on the monument since the beginning of 2000. The above studies formulate specific applicable proposals for the Theatre’s stabilization and restoration. To date, the kerkides on the southeast retaining wall of the koilon have been restored and works of restoration on the southwest retaining wall are in progress. With the Central Archaeological Council’s approval of the updated study framework, it is possible to move to a new part of the monument, the middle koilon, whose treatment is a key factor for work to continue on the whole monument. A constant priority for the Ministry of Culture and Sports is the continuation of restoration works on the Theatre, the protection and enhancement of all the monuments of the Sanctuary, the upgrading of the public service infrastructure as well as improvement of the site’s security”.

Interventions on the Theatre’s middle zone are ranked chronologically and thematically. They begin with conserving and restoring the A diazoma. This is followed by each kerkis/seating unit being conserved following the preparation and approval of its study, starting with the central 5B kerkis, which displays the largest number of broken seats out of all others in the middle zone. The last stage includes the preliminary study of the lateral retaining walls and outer stairways and the study of the static structural adequacy of the koilon’s retaining walls and those of the stairways to the B diazoma.