From the first day of its foundation in 2008, DIAZOMA and the great social alliance it has created (archaeologists, restorers-engineers, conservators, artists, intellectuals, cities, Regions, foundations, businesses and, most importantly, citizens) has contributed daily to the state’s significant work of protecting and promoting ancient theatres. The list below provides detailed information about the progress of the works carried out in Greek ancient theatres during the past ten years, as well as the pending actions necessary for each theatre individually. As you will see, these spectacular results stem from a single magic word: “SYNERGIES”.
In other words, the list below is at heart an “ODE TO SYNERGIES”.
At present, the First Phase of the Ancient Theatre’s restoration has been completed. Detailed information on the studies and works pertaining to the theatre’s restoration and promotion is provided below:
• For the complete revelation and protection of the monument it is necessary to complete the excavation works and to perform the small-scale fixation interventions which are required.
• For the implementation of the above mentioned works, the designation of the theater was included in the N.S.R.F with funding of 2,000,000.00 €. The smaller scale project belonging to the larger project “Enhancement – unification of the archaeological sites of ancient Amvrakia in the city of Arta, Municipality of Artaion: western necropolis, temple of Apollo and small theater” was implemented.
• Depending on the extent and form of the antiquities that are revealed, a small pedestrian bridge above the ancient theater is intended to be built, which will provide visual contact with the ancient theater and simultaneously lead us to a nice archaeological walk through to the rest of the monuments of ancient Amvrakia. This will create an archaeological site organically integrated into the life of the modern city.
• During the excavation works a ceramic furnace of the Byzantine period was discovered, which was created very close to the seats of the ancient theater. Next to the ancient theater the sewerage network of the ancient city was revealed.
• Through the program “Cultural Routes in the Ancient Theaters of Epirus”, the project “Works for the promotion and formation of the archaeological site of the Small Theater of Ancient Amvrakia”, with a budget of 749,400 Euros, was included in the N.S.R.F. 2014-2020 Business Program “Epirus 2014-2020”.
The position of the theater of Amphilochikou Argos has been known since 1916, but has not yet been excavated, which is why only some of the stone blocks of the theater are visible.
Last update, April 2020
PHASE A: DESCRIPTION OF THE WORK OF THE 3rd C.S.F. (Community Support Framework) – P.B.P (Peripheral Business Programs) (07-2008 to 06-2009)
• Work commenced in July 2008 after the approval by the H.S.A. (Hellenic Society for Archaeology)for research (Ministry of Culture / ΔΑΑΜ / 56/40285 / 22-4-2008) and financing, amounting to 900.450 Euros from the 3rd C.S.F. – P.B.P Crete.
• The work was completed in most of the theater until the end of 2008 on the expropriated field and continued in 2009 in the eastern part of the theater, stage and foreground, which is situated on the adjacent property and which is in the advanced stage of expropriation.
PHASE B: INCORPORATION IN THE N.S.R.F.
• The project was incorporated in the 2nd phase of the N.S.R.F., with the financing of 2,475,000.00 Euros for the completion of the restoration and reconstruction works of the monument.
• The expropriation of the property by the A.R.F. (Archaeological Receipts Fund) was declared (Government Gazette 273 AAP / 21-10-2011), with a budget of 508,620.00€.
The work is in progress. In more detail:
The excavation has revealed most of the theater, focusing now on revealing the west passage way and investigating the elongated terraced building north of the theater in order to understand its function.
Simultaneously, stone and mortar maintenance works are carried out, which include: cleaning of the external surfaces, sealing of cracks and small voids, and the welding of peelings with mortars compatible with hydraulic lime-based antiquities.
The restoration of the theater seats includes the repositioning of collected seats in homologous positions and the construction and placement of new ones made of natural stone.
All the work is accompanied by the necessary documentation with a calendar of restoration and maintenance dates, as well as architect’s memos and architectural drawings.
Maintenance of the masonry of the stage and the revelation of the passage ways with the removal of the fallen stones is being carried out while the restoration of the foreground is being planned. The mild configuration of the area and the organization of the route tours will materialize upon the completion of the revelation of the perimeter of the monument and the passage ways. Advantage will be taken of the ancient road, the relief of the terrain and the vegetation of the area.
On 12 December 2015, the ancient theater of Apteras was given to the public. The project included the restoration of the theater, the registration of the sensitive stone foundations of the seats, the re-setting of the stones on the passage ways to their original positions, the maintenance and restoration of the scenery. In addition, the contour of the theater and two paved streets that served to access the monument were revealed.
Ancient Theater of Abdera
• The project “Maintenance, restoration and promotion of the monuments in Epidaurous” was incorporated in the NSRF, with funding of 3,000,000,00 Euros.
• Foreseen to take place at the ancient theater of Asklepiou Epidaurou is the restoration of its foreground, as well as the maintenance work of the fragile architectural parts/pieces of the stage.
• In the first phase, according to the approved study, the two theater ramps from the foreground leading to the floor of the stage building will be restored.
• Meanwhile, the restoration of the upper row of seats of the epitheater, which had been disturbed by the silt in the area, continues.
• Work is in progress.
• In particular, the reconstruction of the seats was completed in the upper rows of the epitheater, after the causes of the damage had been removed. As for the area of the hollow of the theater which has been greatly deformed (stand 18 to 21 of the epitheter) the analytical documentation of the damages continues, as part of the restoration study which is under preparation. In the area of the stage building, the architectural members have already begun to work with new materials for the restoration of the platform of the theater, as well as the welding of broken pieces of the monument.
• Geophysical research has already been completed through a Programming Agreement, which was funded by the former Prefecture of Lassithi.
• The Programming Agreement amounting to 50.000,00 Euros was signed with the Region of Crete, for the excavation research in the area where the ancient theater of Ierapetra is located.
• The monument has been cleansed by volunteers.
• On May 15, 2014, the required modification of the above contract was signed.
• Excavations are in progress.
• The signing of a new Programming Agreement is being promoted in order for the excavations to be continued.
The aforementioned funding provides for:
1.The completion of the works for the aesthetic restoration of new stones
2.The preservation of ancient stone
3.The restoration of the floors of the orchestra, the stage and level of the auditorium above the seventh row of seats.
• On December 13, 2013, the Cultural Development Programming Agreement amounting to 100,000 Euros was signed, between the Ministry of Culture and Sports and, the Region of Western Greece – Regional Unity of Ilia for the project “Excavation research, topographic and architectural survey of the ancient theatre of Platiana”.
• The aim of the project was the complete archaeological documentation of the monument, through the supplementary excavation of selected points in the theatre. These works were preceded by the deforestation and the excavation cleaning of the ancient theatre. Also planned are the topographic mappings of the monument, its new architectural depiction, the recording and organizing of the decumbent building materials, the static study of fixation, as well as geological studies. All the above are the precursors that are required, in order for the restoration study of the ancient theatre to materialize.
• “DIAZOMA” has opened a “money box” – an electronic bank account – for the ancient theatre of Platiana, to which the local communities actively contribute.
• Excavations began on the 1st of May 2014, by the Department of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities (OLYMPIA) for the project “Excavation research, topographic and architectural survey of the ancient theatre of Platiana”. This lasted until December 2014.
• Also, for the needs of the project, the topography study and the architectural depiction of the ancient theatre were carried out by direct assignment. In the framework of the project, the static study and the restoration study of the ancient theatre were also carried out.
• With a sponsorship of € 111,000.00 by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, “DIAZOMA” commissioned the architect-engineer, Mr. William Orestidis and his team, for a study of the restoration of the monument, which will include the architectural depictions of the monument, the recording of its pathology, archival research and the collection of photographic material and other evidence for the excavations, the recording and investigation of scattered architectural members, and finally proposals for the restoration and promotion of the theatre .
• The signing of a Framework Agreement between the Region of the Peloponnese, the Regional Unity of Lakonia, and the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs is also in progress, for the amount of 100,000.00 €, for the additional excavation research and the topographical and architectural depiction of the monument.
• On Wednesday, July 10, 2013, during the meeting of the Board of Directors of the DIAZOMA Association, the scholar, architect-engineer, Mr. William Orestidis, presented to the members of the board the study that he prepared for the restoration of the ancient theatre of Sparta.
• The study was received by a special committee of the DIAZOMA Association, and was sent for approval to the relevant departments of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
• On Tuesday, October 15, 2013, the study of the restoration of the ancient theatre of Sparta was approved by the Central Archaeological Council.
• On Thursday, May 08, 2014, the contract for the assignment of a topographic study for the project “Construction of a dependent topographical diagram of a property owned by Dimosthenis Matala in zone A of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Sparta, south of the ancient theatre” was signed at the offices of the Diazoma Association. The contract was signed by the president of the DIAZOMA Association, Mr. Stavros Benos and by Mr. Ioannis Yaxoglou, Rural and Surveying Engineer. The assignment of the above topographic study was carried out after the important donation of land made by Mr. Dimosthenis Matalas, former Mayor of Sparta, to the Greek State and the Ministry of Culture. The plot is located within zone A of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Sparta, south of the ancient theatre.
• The J.M. Kaplan Fundation, operating in New York, donated $ 100,000 (€ 81,070.13) in February 2018 for the enhancement of the theatre in order to reinforce the first phase of the associated restoration works.
The program includes the following work units:
• The Cultural Development Programming Agreement, amounting to € 70,000, was signed on May 15, 2014 between the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Region of Attica for the project “Drawing up a study on the emergence of the ancient theater of Zea”.
• The purpose of the program for this contract is to prepare the study for the emergence of the ancient theater of Zea. For the protection and the highlighting of the monument, it is necessary to carry out fixation and maintenance works in order to make it accessible as a venue for cultural events. Situated in the same vicinity as the Archaeological Museum of Pireaus and the coastal front of Akti Moutsopoulou will help in the aesthetic and economic upgrading of the area and will be an attraction to visitors. Meanwhile, the Archaeological Service is putting all its efforts into transforming the building block, where the theater is located, into an archaeological park.
• Tuesday, February 24, 2015, the Department of Antiquities of West Attica, Piraeus and the Islands assigned an architectural study of restoration and promotion of the ancient theater of Zea in Piraeus to Antoniou Georgios, Architectural Engineer of NTUA (National Technical University of Athens).
• Tuesday, November 29th, 2016, the Central Archaeological Council approved the architectural study of the restoration and promotion of the ancient theater of Zea.