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Sunday, August 31, 2014

TURKEY: Byzantine Tomb Turned Into Dump

tomb istanbul 

Turkish newspaper “Hurriyet” proceeded with complaints over the extended loot of a Byzantine tomb known as Silivri Crypt, the desecration of the tomb and its conversion into a garbage dump.

The newspaper is accusing the Municipality of Istanbul of neglecting the Byzantine monument. The tomb and its surrounding area are hosting a number of homeless people, says the article entitled “Byzantium king tomb turning into garbage dump.”
“The looters and the officials who are responsible for this place should be ashamed,” told “Hurriyet” a local resident.

The article notes that thieves have also taken a door installed by the municipality to stop the looters from entering the crypt. The crypt lies to the left of the Silivrikapı Walls in Istanbul’s Fatih neighborhood. There are a number of other monuments in the area which are also plundered by looters.

It is estimated that the Silivri Crypt, which was found by Turkish Professor Ümit Serdaroğlu, dates back to the fourth century A.D. at the time of the eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius. The tomb was restored in 1989 by the Municipality of Istanbul but it was soon looted. 

The reliefs covering the crypt were stolen in 1993, however they were rediscovered and given to the Istanbul Museum of Archaeology. The frescoes which were also restored, were damaged over time.

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