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Full Version: Late Roman monumental works now lost?
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In this thread- http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/17-roma...l?start=15 the remains of what may have been either the Column of Theodosius or the Column of Arcadius and the depictions of Late Roman infantry were discussed.

I have to report some very sad news about these fragmentary remains.

I have just come back from a research trip to Istanbul and visited the Patrona Halili Hamami building, which was known previously as the Beyazit Baths (guide books confuse this building with another Beyazit bathhouse just a short walk away).

In the link above Michael displayed the photographs of the fragmentary remains that were placed into the foundations of the Patrona Halili Hamami. He will be as shocked as I was if he revisited the building.

At this present time many buildings are undergoing extensive 'restoration' in Istanbul. These include Mosques in the Beyazit square, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace. The Patrona Halali had fallen into disrepair since the 1930's and did need attention, but the restoration, undertaken by the Istanbul University at Beyazit, has effectively ruined the Late Roman fragments.
Here is a photo I took of the Patrona Halili from across the street, this was only two weeks ago-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

As you can see, the building has undergone extensive restoration, as shown by the white stonework and the fully restored domed roof.

This is another view-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
Now here is a view of the left side of the building-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

With another shot of the left side-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
Then several views of the front entrance way-

From the left front-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

From the left front again-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
And some other shots of the building just to compare-

Right side-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
In the last shot above you can just see to the right of the side door on the floor the glass panel where you can barely see what is underneath as shown in these shots, which are zoomed there appear to be two fragments visible under the glass-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
These two photo's show what remains visible in the foundations of the building from the outside-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]
The iconic fragment of the Roman soldiers kneeling and adoring the Emperor(?) has either been destroyed, covered up or removed, it is certainly no longer visible as far as I can see.

Whilst I fully appreciate that the building was in a state before the restoration, surely they could have restored it without covering up/destroying the fragments in the base?

When I took the photo of the building from over the road I noticed behind me some hoarding behind which a building had been pulled down and they were excavating. I was horrified to see a group of white marble blocks, some of massive size, just piled up in heaps, not an archeologist in sight. The same goes for Beyazit square where workmen were running a trench through the top half near the entrance to the University, no archeologists were visible despite the fact that you could plainly see fragments of pottery and other objects being dug up under the orginal Roman stone flooring!

Anyway, anyone wanting to go and see the fragmentary remains in Patrona Halili Hamami will be as sorely disappointed as I was.

(I am now convinced that the remains in the foundations of the building came from the Column of Arcadius and not the Column of Theodosius as the remains show water features and part of a ship. Theodosius did not fight any naval battles against the Goths as far as I'm aware, but Arcadius did, Gainas was defeated in a naval battle in the Black Sea.).
OMG! William Morris would had killed them!

Also in Italy the situation is terrible, we have thousands of good books, University courses (which I followed), great professional restorers and many great experts on the 'Conservative Restoration' ......and we are destroing all.....the fact is that the Conservative restoring is not a good business....

It's a shame!...and a tragedy....
The loss of these pieces of history is horrid. Sad
As this information has also been mentioned in the 4th Century soldiers thread I have repeated some comments here.

Recently I drew an illustration of a soldier from these monuments for Raffaele D'Amato's book 'Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Solder II'.

So in a way they have become familiar friends.

In the other thread Robert Vermaat said it's called 'progress'

That is not the word I would use. If it was the usual case of a car park being built over a Roman Forum or a new Shopping centre built over a Roman baths, that happened in Chester, that is sadly what we have come to expect in terms of 'progress'.

However this appears to have been a 'restoration project' carried out under the auspices of a University. Sadly I am not familiar with the geography of the city but parts of Istanbul are supposed to be within a UNESCO world heritage site.

Perhaps rather than just saying this is 'sad' maybe we as a collective should write to that organisation and inform them of what has happened, with the pictures as evidence. From the images it also seems to appear that the only remaining sculpture that is now visible has been installed upside down!!

An embarrassment for the city.

Graham.
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