Restoration and conversation is set to start again at The Monumental Fountain known as Nymphaeum in the ancient city of Side in the southern province of Antalya’s Manavgat district. Restorations began in 2004 on the Monumental Fountain which dates back to the 2nd century A.D.
Antalya Surveying and Monuments Director Cemil Karabayram, who recently visited the ancient site, said “only 20 percent of the restoration has so far been completed, but the work will be finished in the coming period”
Cemil Karabayram went on to say “a financial allocation for the project had been provided under the auspices of Culture and Tourism Minister Professor Numan Kurtulmuş, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Antalya Governor Münir Karalıoğlu, and a tender will be initiated in the coming days”
He also added “there are a number of large stone blocks in the area, which have each been documented with a separate number, adding that the blocks and the arch structure at the front of the site will be placed on the upper columns” Karabayram said “the restoration team strongly suspects that new blocks will be found under the layer of soil right behind the fountain”
“Excavations will unearth these new blocks. I hope that we will make the fountain complete by finishing the work. Tourists will be able to enter the area and visit the fountain. Almost 12 million Turkish Liras have been allocated for the entire Side region and its monumental structures,” he added.
The restoration team plans to restore the pool system in front of the fountain to its original state, while the asphalt in the gate of the castle, which is located at the entrance of Side, will be removed. Karabayram said the excavations at the ancient site of Side were first initiated by Professor Arif Müfit Mansel, whose words and articles about Side are most important.
“Mansel said a copy of this fountain was constructed in Italy by Italians. Of course, this was a matter of debate but we are carrying out work for it. We are talking with art historians about this issue, and whether the fountain here was a source of inspiration for the fountain in Rome,” he added.
Karabayram also said “some columns of the fountain have been preserved throughout history and all of these columns are original and new materials will never be used in the restoration. But some extra blocks could be placed in order to provide balance,” he went on to add.
With the recent upsurge in tourism in the Antalya region, it’s expected that The Monumental Fountain will be an interesting and exciting draw for holidaymakers and visitors to the area. Many tourists pass through now to see for themselves the beautiful ruins and many artefact’s are on display in the museum at Side. Once The Monumental Fountain has been restored it will make a spectacular sight and one I’m sure will attract many more visitors to the Side region. No date as yet has been announced for the completion of the restoration.