Monday , April 22 2024
Home / News / Culture / Archeology / Phidias Workshop – Early Christian Basilica in Olympia to be restored

Phidias Workshop – Early Christian Basilica in Olympia to be restored

The workshop of the most emblematic sculptor of the Antique, Phidias, in ancient Olympia will be restored after the Central Archaeoglogical Council (KAS) approved its restoration, the Greek Culture Ministry said on Tuesday.

The restorations will  give an extremely interesting picture of the archeological site of Olympia, while it will significantly enhance the stay of visitors. offering a more complete experience of the place and the different time periods, as they are imprinted and presumed in the monuments of Olympia, The Ministry said in a statement.

The building, which according to researchers has been identified as the workshop of Phidias is located in a central position of the archaeological site of Olympia, while its continuous use from the classical to the Byzantine era is presumed.

West of the sacred enclosure, directly opposite the temple of Zeus, was the workshop of Pheidias where the great sculptor crafted the gigantic chryselephantine statue of Zeus, listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

The building was erected in the second half of the fifth century, when Phidias, after completing the sculptures for the Athenian Acropolis, went to Olympia to work on the statue of Zeus.

The study for the restoration was prepared and funded by the German Archaeological Institute.

According to the Ministry of Culture, the monument has been fully documented: All the stones of the southern pillar, the floor stones that are in the depository of architectural members, east of the monument, as well as other members kept in the Museum have been identified.

In total, 160 architectural pieces were documented, while on-site measurements were made using modern and traditional methods.

A wealth of excavation finds, including clay matrices for the folds of the statue’s robe, pieces of ivory and semi-precious stone, bone goldsmith’s tools, glass flower petals and a most important small black-painted oinochoe inscribed Pheidio eimi, or ‘I belong to Phidias’, all come from this area. The statue was probably transported in pieces and assembled inside the temple of Zeus. It depicted Zeus seated on a gold throne decorated with mythological scenes; the face and parts of the body were of ivory, while the gold robe was adorned with glass flowers and semi-precious stones.

Phidias’ workshop was originally an autonomous building, free in space.

Over time and during the Hellenistic era, small and large buildings were gradually added to the immediate vicinity of the workshop, which became part of a large building complex. These constructions did not have the monumental character of the workshop. During the late Hellenistic period, between the 2nd century BC and 1st century AD, large-scale changes took place in the surrounding area of ​​the Phidias workshop.

During the Roman era, great changes took place in the building, but also in the surrounding area.

An Early Christian basilica was erected over the foundations of the ancient building between AD 435 and 451.

The basilica of Olympia, the earliest known Early Christian church at Eleia, was destroyed by the earthquake of AD 551.

When the monument was first cleared by the French expedition in 1829 it was already believed to have been originally the workshop of Phidias. This was uncovered and studied by the German School in the second half of the twentieth century.

In its statement the Greek Culture Ministry did not say when the project will begin or is expected to be concluded.

Check Also

Greece furious over fashion-show at the British Museum

A fashion show at the British Museum and thus in front of the stolen Parthenon …