Restoration work starts on Roman mosaic damaged in theft
NEWS Staff Reporter RESTORATION work got underway last week on an ancient Roman mosaic in Marbella that was damaged last year by thieves who stole the Medusa’s head that was its central feature.
In January 2016 thieves broke into the Villa Romano archaeological site at Río Verde and caused significant damage to one of the large mosaic designs embedded in the ground at the site. In addition to taking the tiles that made up the Medusa’s head design, they dislodged or smashed numerous other tiles in the process.
Following a lengthy planning and approval process, the restoration work was contracted out to a specialist firm from Fuengirola, which has a six-person team working on the project including archaeologists and res- toration specialists.
Some of the damaged area of the mosaic can be repaired using original tiles that were left behind after the theft, but forthe part featuring Medusa’s head only around 10% of the original tiles remained, meaning replacement tiles will have to be used. These will be in the same colours as the old tiles but in lighter tones so that the reconstructed part is clearly differentiated from the original, as required under Spain’s regulations for historic restorations.
At a visit to the site last week Marbella mayor Ángeles Muñoz said that “unfortunately no progress has been made in the investigation” into the theft of the Medusa’s head tiles. Following the incident, security cameras and new lighting were installed, and work continues on better enclosing the perimeter of the site.
Restoration work on the damaged mosaic is now underway