After twenty years of studies, research and restoration, the “stone giant” of ancient Akragas has risen again.

The “Telamon”, one of the colossal anthropomorphic statues that supported the architrave of the temple of Olympian Zeus, the Olympieion, symbol of the Valley of the Temples, has been brought back to an upright position.

The statue, almost 8 meters high, is supported by a 12 meter steel structure to which shelves are anchored where the individual pieces are placed.

The entire museum project of the Olympian area, which has so far cost 500 thousand euros of Park funds, includes the upcoming reconstruction on the ground of a part of the entablature and the frame of the temple, in order to make a more concrete idea of the colossal dimensions and uniqueness of the monument but, at the same time, protect the finds.

In 2004, the Valley of the Temples Park began an extensive study and research campaign on the Olympieion entrusted to the German Archaeological Institute of Rome (Dai Rome) and led by Heinz-Jürgen Beste. The study, in addition to new knowledge about the monument, led to the precise cataloging of the elements still in situ. More than 90 fragments were thus identified which belonged to at least eight different Telamones and, of one of them, approximately two thirds of the original elements that composed it were preserved.

This homogeneous nucleus of blocks was used for the reconstruction of the Telamon, “brother” of the one already rebuilt at the end of the 19th century, housed in the “Pietro Griffo” Archaeological Museum where it still remains. The curator of the project is the architect Carmelo Bennardo, current director of the Archaeological Park of Syracuse, while the scientific expert is the architect Alessandro Carlino.

[Source: Ansa]

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