Restoration work is urgently required for the ancient town of Salamis. According to experts, walls in the Hamam-Gymnasium complex could collapse and unprotected floor mosaics are being damaged by the weather and tourists.
Restoration expert Dr Ege Uluca Tumer spoke to Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Kibris’ last year about the lack of proper housing for statues.
Further, there is no security to protect the site around the clock. Tourists climb on statues, remove pieces of mosaic from flooring which is being worn away by the weather and tourist footfall.
“These mosaics need to be covered immediately and a construction must be built so as to prevent visitors from walking over them,” Dr Tumer said.
The site has also been vandalised with graffiti.
Between 1998-2012, the Near East University’s archaeology department in cooperation with Ankara University conducted excavations on the site. Dr Tumer said that five large statues and some smaller artefacts were discovered and stored in warehousing as it was unsafe to leave them on site.
Tumer stressed that only a part of the site that had been uncovered during the excavations during that period. The fish market, west hamam has been restored. However, many parts of the site have been left unattended, without the necessary structural support and are in danger of collapsing.
The site is left open to the elements and is continuously subject to environmental damage. Additionally, wild vegetation and small trees further threaten the site.