They say Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same is true for one of the biggest restoration projects taking place in Fethiye at the moment; the restoration of Telmessos Theatre.

Contractors working on the restoration of the ancient Telmessos theatre have been granted an extension to their contract to allow them extra time to complete the complicated works.

It is reported that around half of the 4.5 million TL project has been completed but technical delays mean they need to extend the contract by 5 months.

According to Fethiye Museum the construction type and positioning of the theatre emulates the Hellenistic time, but the ruins reflect the Roman period. In any case the theatre was turned into an arena in 3-4 BC by the Romans and would have been one of the most important public buildings in the town.

The term arena, place of combat, is derived from arena or harena, the sand sprinkled on the fighting field to soak up blood and facilitate cleaning.

The arena played a significant role in Roman public life.

They would be used as the location to mark funerals and memorials, celebrate birthdays, dedications, inaugurations, victories and other occasions. Gladiatorial exhibitions would also have been a featured event.

It would also have been used as a place where the Romans could hand down their harsh public discipline including executions to deter wrongdoing.

The theatre had survived many of the devastating earthquakes that have taken place over the centuries. But it was the 1957 earthquake that caused great damage when an earth and rock slump and covered much of the structure.

The project should be completed by the end of the summer 2014.

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