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Tourist steals antiquity stone from the Ancient Theater of Larissa

A tourists could probably not resist the temptation to take a souvenir from the Ancient Theater of Larissa to her home country. Taking advantage of the lack of effective guarding, a tourist grabbed an ancient stone during her visit to the  2,400-year-old antique theater on Tuesday.

The stone was in one of the big boxes where archaeologists store the ancient stones they have  collected from the site.

Another visitor, a local from Larissa, saw the woman stealing the stone and ran to her. The man explained to her that the stones were not aimed as souvenirs but to be placed in their original place in the ancient monument. He took the stone and put it back in the cask.

“A local became the guardian of the ancient monument, but the question about the duties of the guards of the archaeological site is turning more intense,” local media onlarissa.gr notes.

Apparently nobody reported the incident to the authorities of the archaeological site as I do not read that the woman was detained, taken to police station etc.

More pictures from the Ancient theater of Larissa on the official website of the archaeological site here.

The First Ancient Theatre of Larissa (Α’ Αρχαίο Θέατρο Λάρισας) is a major open-air theatre and the largest theater in Thessaly, Central Greece, with a seating capability of 10,000 persons. It is situated on the south side of the Acropolis Hill in the city of Larissa.

The First Ancient Theatre of Larissa was constructed inside the ancient city’s centre during the reign of King Philip V of Macedonia, towards the end of the 3rd century BC. The theatre was in use for six centuries, until the end of the 3rd century AD (or the beginning of the 4th century AD), when its operation was abruptly stopped.

During the first centuries, the theatre served a dual purpose: apart from theatrical performances, it also hosted the assemblies of the senior regional authority, the so-called Koinon of the Thessalians. The ancient theatre of Larissa by the end of the 7th century BC had the lead and completely prevailed over a large area of fertile plain of Thessaly.

The ancient theatre was initially connected with the worship of the God Dionysus, by commit theatrical and music activities, and secondly, with the administration of the Thessalian for meetings of the city assembly, called agora.

Indications for these are a small votive altar to the god Dionysus found near the theater where there was allegedly sacred and the names of representatives of the city – state, that participated in the Federation of Thessaly, shown on the seats of the ancient theater.

The theatre has the typical structure of the Hellenistic theater with three basic components: koilon (hollow), orchestra and skene (stage) with a diameter of about 25 meters. The hollow of the ancient theater was the same slope of the hill Fortress, which was shaped into terraces for the placement of benches.

The First Ancient Theatre of Larissa, which is in present day the hallmark of the city and the most important tourist monument in the area, is under a program of excavation and the incessantly maintenance work, taking place by local authorities.

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