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:
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
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.
The restoration works are underway. By November 2020, extensive archaeological cleaning was completed. Moreover, the restoration and completion of the skene retaining walls and the reconstruction of conduit surrounding the koilon (seating area) took place. The completion of the klimakes (stairways) and the reconstruction of the seats in the koilon with new materials is underway. In total, the completion of 580 seats (edolia) with artificial stone is planned. (CURRENT STATE)
Monitoring and completion of works. (NEXT STEP)
• 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.
4.Strengthening parts of the natural rock. Final filling in to recover the volume of the cavea above the surviving tiers of the theatre.
This amendment was necessary to incorporate the Archaeological Excavations and Works Subprojects to be carried out by the Ministry of Culture – Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia in the technical bulletins. Given that these works will receive National Funding (Public Investment Programme), the amendments were also approved by the Ministry of Development on 27 April 2020. (link)
Overall, the work to be carried out consists of:
Fixing, maintenance, restoration, protection, enhancement, and promotion of the monument through targeted interventions per the restoration study approved by the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) in the koilon (seating area), retaining walls, orchestra, parodoi (side entrances), skene (building behind the orchestra), drainage duct and the theatre’s tower.
Preparation of additional studies (mortar and grout application, complete drainage of the monument and the surrounding area, electrical and mechanical infrastructure, and fire safety studies).
Installation of bilingual information signs, one of which in Braille, publication of bilingual brochure (English – Greek and Braille), construction of an architectural model that can serve as a palpation model for the visually impaired.
• 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.